Shelves are emptying at local grocery and supply stores across Southwest Louisiana as customers stock up on goods ahead of Hurricane Isaac. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, August 31, 2012 12:28 PM
Shelves are emptying at local grocery and supply stores across Southwest Louisiana as customers stock up on goods ahead of Hurricane Isaac.
Dianna Gee, Walmart spokesperson, said the store has been working since last Wednesday to move merchandise from its emergency operation center in Bentonville, Arkansas.
“We have been re-routing merchandise, but unfortunately these items are being bought quickly,” Gee said by phone Tuesday. “When wind speeds reach a certain point we won’t put truck drivers in harm’s way. We have merchandise ready to go and we are waiting to hear about other road conditions.”
While Walmart continues to monitor the storm, Gee said its trucks are “staged and ready to roll.”
“I think after the storm passes we will assess the damage and route the merchandise to people who need it the most,” Gee said. “We will route merchandise strategically to areas that are most impacted.”
Gee said water is the No. 1 item that sells the fastest before the storm. She said items sold most after a hurricane is cleaning supplies.
Other frequently purchased items that sell quickly are trash cans, generators, tarps, flashlights, batteries and ice chests.
Jeremy Stine, marketing manager at Stine’s Home and Yard, said the store is stocked with everything except D batteries.
Stine also said the stores in the Lake Area are low on generators and AC window units.
He said there will be more shipments later this week but many items are still being replenished daily.
“We are replenishing these supplies daily,” Stine said by phone Tuesday.
Items that are selling quickly are gas cans, water and propane, Stine said.
With hurricane plans already in place, Gary Huddleston, director of consumer affairs at Kroger, said trucks are on the road headed for Southwest Louisiana with goods from their Houston, Texas, warehouse.
Besides water, he said customers are buying a lot of canned meat, beans, batteries, and any type of food that doesn’t require refrigeration.
“Fortunately we have hurricane plans in place, and we stocked up on water early,” Huddleston said by phone Wednesday. “Unless law enforcement says we can’t deliver we will continue operations as normal in terms of distribution.”
He also said stores may be out of something for a short period of times but assured customers that Kroger is aware of necessary items that need to replenished.