Rush expected at grocery and supplies stores throughout South Florida

MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - Grocery stores in areas expected to be hit by Hurricane Matthew are expecting no shortage of last minute shoppers, Thursday morning.

South Florida residents are stocking up at the last minute for storm essentials like water, food, and flashlights. “We’re stocking up on ice to keep it cooler for the food that will spoil,” said Amanda Esposito.

Snacks, canned goods, and other non-perishable items are a must-grab, but water is at the top of the list and it has been the toughest item to find. “There was seriously like three left after we grabbed those,” said Esposito, “So, I mean it’s been pretty empty. I came here for like two days in a row and they’ve had nothing.”

The demand is so high, that one Publix in Pompano Beach has been receiving water deliveries every hour.

The crowds at South Florida hardware stores are also not showing signs of letting up anytime soon. Plywood, batteries and flashlights are only a few items on the checklist at the Home Depot.

Jody Ryan, a manager at the Home Depot in Davie, said flashlights and propane go out of stock almost as soon as they hit the shelves. “We do have three distribution centers within the southeast area,” she said. “We work with our vendors and our supply chains in order to get that product out to the stores as quickly as possible to help our communities.”

With areas in Miami-Dade and Broward counties expected to start feeling the effects of Matthew Thursday, people are now rushing to board up their homes, making lines for plywood, particle board and aluminum shutters dreadfully long.

If power goes out, propane and gas are essential for the generator or for cooking on the grill. Wednesday, a long line for gas could be seen in Davie from 7Skyforce, and as these long lines build in the final hours before it becomes too late to prepare, it’s becoming evident patience is key.

“They have no patience, parking lots are insane, people fighting for parking spots, traffic,” said Donna Calle. “I waited through about five light cycles just to pull in. It’s rough.”

All Publix stores from Miami-Dade to Broward County east of Interste 95 will be closing at noon. All stores in Broward west of I-95 will close at 2 p.m.

If you have supplies left to pick up, it is advised that you do so as early as possible.

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