Business As Usual
Many Woonsocket businesses are planning to remain open during the storm.
With forecasters predicting up to 16 inches of snow for the Woonsocket area, you would expect - and you'd be right to expect - the city to virtually close down. But that's not what will happen here in Woonsocket. Most local businesses have no intention of letting a mere foot of snow - or two - inconvenience their customers.
Patriots Diner on Founders Drive, for instance, will remain open 24 hours as always. Not a single employee, from the cooks down to the waitresses, plans to let Mother Nature interfere with their duties. Saadet Altarslan and Eloise Arel, just two of the waitresses at Patriots who are scheduled to work during the snowstorm, are determined to make it to work one way or another. "We're troopers here. We're not scared," Altarslan said, challenging the weather to hold her back from doing her job.
"Storm or no storm, people want to eat," said Arel.
Dunkin Donuts on Cumberland Street is usually serving hot, fresh coffee to early risers by 5 a.m. For all the early risers who count on that Dunkin coffee each morning, do not worry: the only change in Dunkin Dounuts schedule is an hour delay to allow employees to dig out from under the foot of snow in the morning to get to work.
The store will be open at 6 a.m. rather than 5, which shouldn't pose too much of an inconvenience on a day when most schools and state offices announced closure more than 12 hours in advance. Manager Joe Lima was ready for the storm. "We'll open an hour later, that's all. I'm not worried," he said.
Dunkin Donut employee Alicia St. Germain, although she expressed concern for her co-worker, had no doubts whatsoever that business would go on as usual. "Joe lives in Bristol, and his shift doesn't end until one in the morning. He's going to have to drive all the way home in the storm." Nevertheless, the donuts will be freshly made on Wednesday morning.
At CT Plus, a convenience store on the corner of Hamlet Avenue and Front Street, it will also be business as usual. Generally open by 6 a.m., C T will be open for business by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The mother/daughter team of Lynn Tobin (Mom) and Arlene Gariepy, employees of C T Plus, have no plans of taking the day off. "My hubsand has a four wheel drive truck, so I'm not worried a bit.," Tobin said.
The Walgreens on Cumberland St., will remain open their usual 24 hours a day throughout the storm. Cheryl Schuknecht, the Senior Beauty Advisor at Walgreens scheduled to work Wednesday at 8 a.m., is yet another Woonsocket resident who refuses to let the storm inconvenience her customers. "I work 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., so I'll be here the whole time," Schuknecht said cheerily.
For a mid-blizzard gasoline fill-up, city residents can count on Sams on Park Avenue. A combination gas station and convenience store, Sam's carries just about everything a person could need in means of supplies, from food to ice scrapers. Sultan Ali, who can generally be found behind the counter during the day shift, has every intention of opening at 6 a.m. as usual."Unless somebody ties me down, I'll be here,"Ali insisted.
Woonsocket is one tough town. If these hard working locals are any example, it will take more than a mere two feet of snow to close it down.