Delaware residents on Irene: “We’d rather prepare for snow.”

Craig Schulz had been looking forward for months to taking his wife and baby daughter to Dewey Beach for the first time. They had planned to leave a little early on Friday, but changed their minds Thursday evening.

“We debated whether to sacrifice our last day versus getting stuck in traffic,” he said. He decided leaving at night was better. He made it back to his suburban Philadelphia home in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

There were a lot of people out on the roads today. Route 1 was jammed most of the day, but so were other roadways. Route 40 in New Castle had heavier than average traffic. It was a mix of people heading home and stocking up on supplies to prepare for the storm.

Hector from New Castle was loading his truck with plywood from the Home Depot. He’s from Puerto Rico and a veteran of many storms. “People always wait until after the storm,” he said. “You have to buy this now in order to be ready.” He was planning to board up the windows at home.

Eric of New Castle had 5 long pieces of flexible piping. “This is kind of an impulse buy,” he said. “I do have some drainage issues, and thought I should take care of them.”

Terry Kempski knows all about drainage issues around his Newport home. He was at the building supply store loading his car with bags of rocks. His immediate use was to hold back water. They would also have a practical application. “Later I can use these stones for the garden,” he said.

Between BJ’s, Walmart and the Giant food store in Bear the big item was bottled water. One shopper seemed proud of the fact that he had all of the supplies on his emergency preparations list. “I like shopping for a snow storm better,” he added, his cart filled with snacks and more water.

Emily Woodson of Bear and Chris Warwick of Newark seemed resigned and a little more practical about their shopping. They both said it was inspired by the storm, but they needed the supplies anyway.

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