Northeast prepares for massive blizzard

02/08/2013 10:55:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Retailers and distributors are preparing for a winter storm bearing down on the Northeast.

Paul KneelandKneelandForecasters expect the snowstorm to sack the region with blizzard conditions and hurricane-strength winds.

Paul Kneeland, vice president of produce and floral for Kings Super Markets LLC, Parsippany, N.J., said snow started falling on Feb. 8.

He said the New York metropolitan region is expecting 12-18 inches.

That record snowfall is expected to cause problems all around, Kneeland said.

“We will get hit in the stores and have a huge pull of product (before),” he said. “The warehouses will empty and the trucks will try to get back in but can’t because of the weather. It’s a big Catch-22 all the way around and will probably take three days to catch up.

“From every aspect of the business all the way down to the supply chain, it will affect us for sure,” Kneeland said.

Steve Katzman, president of the New York-based S. Katzman Produce Inc. and Katzman Berry Corp., and co-chairman of the Hunts Point Terminal Market, said the Bronx market isn’t expecting major problems.

On Feb. 8, Katzman said his company’s trucks are out on deliveries, but there’s a possibility of them not being able to return. He decided to cancel distribution north to Boston.

“In the New York area, it shouldn’t create a lot of problems,” he said. “Until it’s here, many things, like power lines all over the place, could happen. If you have storms, you want them on a Friday and a Saturday so people can get all cleaned up by Sunday. We had a tremendous day yesterday and last night when everyone bought ahead.”

Kneeland said people on Feb. 7 were already lining up their vehicles at gas stations.



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