Old Town Alexandria Takes the Hurricane in Stride
Old Town Alexandria preps for rainy weekend with a sensible "wait and see" approach.
Old Town Alexandria is no stranger to flooding, although Hurricane Irene this weekend may stir up more than the usual “nuisance” flooding that often deposits inches of water on and near King Street.
Trader Joe's on N. St. Asaph Street as of Thursday afternoon was still very well stocked. Store Captain Locke Eldridge said the store has made sure to have extra supplies of water, milk and bakery items. He added that some of the most popular items during impending natural disasters are canned goods, paper goods and usually, plenty of wine.
"People seem to think 'If I'm stuck indoors, it's good to have some good wine around'."
Store staff has had a meeting regarding the looming Hurricane Irene and Eldridge said they'd be monitoring if it's possible to stay open while ensuring the safety of staff and customers.
"We don't anticipate we'd have to close," he said. "Luckily, we're in the bottom of a large building and a little ways from the waterfront."
Whole Foods in Old Town, which is far from the water, was also well-stocked Thursday morning with the exception of the canned tuna fish, which had largely been cleared out.
Heather Grace, the manager at Chadwick’s on The Strand located on Alexandria’s waterfront, said the restaurant is planning a normal schedule.
“We make sure we have everything we need such as sandbags and duct tape, and plastic to cover the front of the restaurant, but Mother Nature will do what Mother Nature will do,” she said. “If it starts getting bad, we’ll let employees go home.”
Grace added that many locals still like to go out “even if something does happen” and that Chadwick’s will try and stay open even with a reduced staff if necessary.
Old Dominion Boat Club President Miles Holtzman said the club, which is front and center on the waterfront, plans to follow its hurricane plan.
“We make adjustments to it in real time, depending on how serious the event becomes as it approaches over time,” he said via email.
The plan includes steps to be taken prior to a storm’s arrival, such as coordinating volunteers, backing up computer records and removing and securing “blowables” such as signs, tables and trashcans and to check boats to see that no occupants are remaining, or the occupant must sign a waiver of liability.