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Region standing by for Hurricane Sandy

BY ROBYN SIDERKSY

In Colonial Beach and King George County, residents and businesses made last-minute preparations Sunday for Hurricane Sandy.

At Rankin’s True Value in King George, owner Alvin Rankin Jr. said he has been sold out of generators for days. He’s also sold out of flashlights, D batteries, gas cans and propane tanks, and has called for emergency deliveries.

Still, when he opened Sunday, he had people waiting in the parking lot.

Shirley Frank was in the store to pick up supplies for her oil lamps.

She said she thinks Sandy will be worse than other storms because of “the strength of the storm, how big it is and the way it’s heading.”

She said she has brought loose outdoor items inside and has a generator, water and canned goods ready. She’s also filled her vehicles’ gas tanks.

John and Jessi Hall were in the store picking up a generator that they’d preordered Friday.

John said his company’s computer servers are in his house, and he wants to be ready in case he loses power. He said in the past they have had a lot of flooding.

“We’re trying to prepare for the worst,” he said.

At Walmart in King George, people stocked up on water, pet food, toilet paper and soda.

A Walmart spokeswoman said the company is working to keep the shelves stocked.

She said they are trying to anticipate what people will need during and after the storm, and emergency distribution centers are stocked with staple goods.

She said stores will stay open as long as it is safe, but if there are mandatory evacuations, stores will close.

In Colonial Beach, some communities near Monroe Bay and the Potomac River were already underwater from the tide rising Sunday afternoon.

At the Monroe Bay Campground, Charles and Sheila Ragan were preparing to take their RV back home to higher ground in King George.

They pulled in cinderblocks, power cables, a grill and other items.

The water was ankle-deep by 4 p.m. As the wind picked up, temperatures dropped.

“I figured it would be up, but not over the road yet,” said Charles Ragan.

There was standing water at the Colonial Beach Yacht Club during high tide. Employees said people had been coming through all day just to see the water.

On the Potomac River, the water was choppy all afternoon.

Standing water surrounded Wilkerson’s on State Route 205. The restaurant was closed.

Nearby, Thomasina Singleton and Donna Zigler took photos near the river as the wind got stronger.

They traveled from Maryland to visit a relative, Lawrence Turner, who has a beach house in Colonial Beach.

“We came down here to experience it,” Singleton said. “ I think it’s very exciting.”

Colonial Beach’s Public Works Department provided a large pile of sand for residents to bag up and use for flood barriers.

Ryan Herrod and son Kris, 11, were at the site filling up bags.

Ryan Herrod said his family has lived here for six years, and they always worry about flooding.

He said they already have a generator and have brought loose items inside.

At High Tides restaurant, which faces the Potomac River, business was normal Sunday afternoon, with a crowd at the bar watching football.

Owner Bryan Coffman said he has a generator ready in case the power goes out. He plans to stay open throughout the storm, he said.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413

rsidersky@freelancestar.com

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