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Shoppers rush to stock up on supplies ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Customers fill kits with water and food
Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 14:02:22-04

TAMPA, Fla. — While people wait to learn more about Hurricane Dorian, people across Tampa Bay are racing to stores to load up on supplies.

HURRICANE CENTER | ABC Action News Hurricane Center

The Lowes store on West Waters Avenue had a line of people waiting outside for the store to open at 6 a.m. on Friday. They had 26 generators in stock and nearly all of them were purchased and loaded by 7:30 a.m.

The store manager said they expect another shipment of at least 200 generators sometime later Friday. They're also expecting additional shipments of water and other critical supplies.

As of Friday morning, Lowes is also fully stocked on empty sandbags that you can take to fill up.

It's best to call your local store to see what supplies they have in stock. Lumber is available and standard cuts can be completed free of charge.

As part of a corporate policy, when it comes to emergency situations like hurricanes, Lowes stores cannot hold lumber or generators for customers either online or over the phone. Customers must come into the store to purchase, according to Dorianne Mercado, assistant store manager of operations.


"We're trying to get all the materials needed, water, gas tanks, everything that’s needed for the customers out and ready to get as quickly as possible," Mercado said.

Some customers made purchases to board up their homes, while others tried to beat out any lines this weekend.

"You never know, you actually never know if it could be the dangerous one or not , but hopefully not," said Dashel Carmichael leaving Walmart on Thursday.

He and other shoppers said the one thing they were still looking for was water.

"Wherever you can get it, grab it. There is nothing on the shelves there," said Christina Ortega after leaving the same store on Thursday evening.

A Walmart spokesperson said supplies will be continually delivered to stores as long as they're able.

Another viewer sent a photo showing a Publix store limiting how many of cases each customer could take.

Publix released this statement on its hurricane preparations:

“We prepare months in advance of hurricane season to stock up on items like water and ice, and work closely with our suppliers to have other items available as well. We continue to make regular deliveries to our stores to keep them stocked for our customers.”

But people like the Livesays, who've lived in the area more than half a century, are staying calm.

"Anytime they say hurricane it’s a big deal. I worry about it but I don’t stress out over it because I do what I can do. The good Lord calls you that’s it it’s over with you know," Henry Livesay said.