Region braces for major snowstorm

LYNN – Several North Shore residents bracing for a major Nor’ Easter to dump anywhere from eight to 14 inches of snow took time Sunday to gather extra supplies in case they get stuck in their homes this morning.Outside Johnny’s Foodmaster on Boston Street in Lynn, local beauty shop owner Sophia Karoumpalis stocked up on groceries for herself and her seven family members.”Because of the storm, I thought maybe we’ll be cooped up in the house,” she said. “I bought some chips, some snacks and yogurt? and a lot of chicken soup.”John Kibbey of Lynn says he didn’t go into “panic mode” but thought he’d stock up just in case travel conditions become hampered on Monday.”I got the minor but necessary items? eggs, milk,” he said. “Nothing out of the ordinary.”Kibbey says he decided to make a quick trip to the supermarket after the San Diego Chargers upset the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.”I’m kind of happy that Indianapolis just lost,” he said. “I had the Nextel going off running into the store.”Depending on how much snow falls, the storm could wreak havoc on municipal snow plowing budgets.After a few major snowstorms since December, some North Shore communities, such as Revere, reportedly spent their entire snow removal budgets for the winter season.On Dec. 17, Revere Mayor Thomas Ambrosino told the Item the city’s $250,000 snow removal budget for 2007-2008 was completely spent. Other communities, such as Swampscott and Nahant, reported their budgets were about halfway gone.Marblehead already spent $127,230 of its $130,000 snow removal budget. Lynn DPW Commissioner Jay Fink said in late December that portions of its $765,000 budget were completely empty.On Sunday night, the National Weather Service forecasted between eight and 14 inches of snow to fall on eastern Essex County between midnight and late afternoon on Monday. The flakes could fall at a rate of one or two inches per hour at times before it’s expected to taper off around 5 p.m. Monday, forecasters said.Karoumpalis, the owner of Sophia’s Beauty Salon, which has operated on Boston Street in Lynn for over 35 years, says she plans to enjoy the impending storm with her large family that includes her two daughters and their four children, each who live next door. Her shop is normally closed on Mondays.”We have a big yard,” she said.

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