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Silver Spring Stocks Up on Batteries, Flashlights, Prepares for 'Frankenstorm'

Items to help survive power outages like flashlights and batteries were in increasingly dwindling supply Friday afternoon.

Flashlights and batteries were hot items at Target and Home Depot in Silver Spring Friday afternoon as residents prepared for power outages following Hurricane Sandy, expected to hit Maryland late Sunday. 

Zeb Ramsey, who lives a few miles from downtown Silver Spring, stocked up on jump boxes for his cars, a flashlight and batteries at Home Depot in Silver Spring. He wanted to be ready this time—after this summer's derecho his home was out of power for 10 days. 

"We've got a two-year-old at home so we're anticipating a long power outage so just wanted to make sure we've got a little bit of backup," he said

"I wanted to get out today because I know it's going to get crazy this weekend and this stuff's going to get sold out," Ramsey said.

Joseph Durbin loaded up on regular flashlights and a re-chargeable spotlight at Home Depot. 

"I'm going to stock up this time and be ready," he said. The derecho left his Silver Spring home without power for five days. 

Mid-afternoon, a sales person at Home Depot announced the flashlight section had already been picked over. 

That wasn't bad news for Mickey Lanigan, a Beltsville resident who was stocking up on batteries since she has flashlights at home. 

"[Batteries] that's what I ran out of last time," she explained. 

She was out of power for four days this summer, so she's preparing for an outage this time. 

"I think I'll be fine," Lanigan said. "It'll be easy this time." 

By Sunday morning Hurricane Sandy is expected to be off the coast of the Carolinas on a north-bound trajectory. Forecasters see Sandy coming onshore sometime late Sunday or Monday, according to NWS meteorologist Jason Elliott, but we’ll feel the impact ahead of that. 

"After Sunday," he said, "things keep going downhill.” 

The area should expect “at least” tropical storm-force winds across the area and heavy rain, Elliott said, but it’s too early to tell exactly how fast those winds will blow and how much rain we’ll get.

Sandy is already responsible for 21 deaths across the Caribbean, according to NPR, and NWS meteorologist Paul Kocin told Bloomberg News that this could be a storm unlike any we've seen in a while.

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