The new Wegmans in Gambrills opened with fanfare Sunday morning, with thousands of shoppers descending on the food store to stock up on storm supplies.
A couple hundred people were lined up in front of the store before 7 a.m., and by 8 a.m. every one of the store's 29 registers was open and checking out customers.
Kathryn Piccinini of Gambrills was among the first to enter the store. She stocked up on soda (5 for $11) and a few other basic provisions.
"I wanted to see the new store. It looks gorgeous," she said. "I've been shopping in Columbia and I've had to drive all that way to get my groceries. To have this here ... I'm just elated."
Many shoppers said they came to Wegmans because they assumed the store would be well-stocked with water, milk, eggs and other basic items as the area prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
Store manager Gerry Troisi said Wegmans had 68 pallets with cases of bottled water.
"We have everything our customers are going to need," he said. "We have water, we have paper, we have milk, eggs, batteries. We have everything ... we're ready. We're definitely ready."
Kelly Woods of Bowie said she has shopped at Wegmans' Lanham location, but wanted to check out the new Gambrills store because she is a loyal fan of the company. She walked into the store at 7:10 a.m. and left at about 8 a.m. with a cart full of storm supplies.
"I was hearing that different places were running out of water, and I felt like this store would be completely stocked," Woods said. "I thought I'd have a better chance of getting things."
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