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NWI residents fuel up for blizzard

Updated: June 13, 2012 1:38PM



Dennis Wargo of Crown Point drove into the snowstorm Tuesday to get fuel for his wife’s Buick Rendezvous at the Luke BP station at U.S. 30 and Mississippi Street in Merrillville.

“We’re getting gas because of the storm,” said Wargo, who like many others across the region was gassing up in advance of a monster blizzard.

“It stinks,” Wargo said of the building onslaught from Mother Nature.

Steve Handtke was likewise getting gasoline at the same station around 2:30 p.m., but he wasn’t stockpiling gas in fear of the heavy snow.

“My tank’s just empty,” Handtke, a 21-year-old Merrillville resident, said.

Handtke thought all the hype surrounding the blizzard was overblown: “We’ve had snow before.”

As the blowing snow packed a wallop, 27-year-old Sonia Lopez made sure she was stocked up on gas for her car at the Meijer station in Merrillville.

“I only had a little bit left,” the Merrillville resident said.

Lopez said she did not have to work today or go to class Tuesday night or today because the blizzard shut down Indiana University Northwest in Gary.

She was looking forward to staying nice and warm at home.

“At least I don’t have to go to school,” Lopez said. “I’ll be able to stay home and maybe catch up on some reading for school.”

In the nearby parking lot of the Meijer store, 26-year-old Erica Strange was bringing home groceries from that store, where she works.

The Gary resident didn’t want the winter storm to maroon her at home without any goodies.

“In case I get stuck, I want some stuff I like,” said Strange, as she hauled home a stash the included Oreo cookies and sweet-treat cereal.

Kim Stanton of Hebron said she was bringing home a huge haul of family groceries from Meijer “just in case we were snowed in.”

In an amused tone, Stanton conceded that this week’s blast of heavy snow made her wonder why she continues to put up with Midwest winters.

Her Tuesday afternoon grocery shopping in Merrillville was done with a sense of urgency.

“I just kind of grabbed and went,” Stanton explained.

Contact Bob Kostanczuk at 648-3144.



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