Jacksonville hardware sees surplus of customers preparing for Ian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Hurricane Ian moved closer to Florida, people in Jacksonville on Tuesday were doing some last-minute shopping to prepare.

At the Proctor Ace Hardware on University Boulevard, the mad rush for last-minute hurricane supplies was anything but slow and the lines were anything but short.

“It’s been crazy. People coming in right and left. We’re out of sand, sandbags and a lot of stuff people wait until the last minute to get,” said Rodney Rogers, a store clerk.

A lot of things were picked over like flashlights and lanterns. Certain battery sizes were sold out, too.

“We sold through six of our generators and we have four more coming in,” store manager Mary Calhoun said.

Propane is in high demand as people were purchasing tanks to be prepared in the event electricity is knocked out.

Mark Keen was one of those people. He just moved to Jacksonville from San Diego and says Ian will be his first hurricane experience.

“I just want to be able to cook if I need to,” Keen said.

Employees say that when it’s busy and the demand for certain hurricane supplies goes through the roof, patience and understanding are all they ask from the customers.

“People sometimes get upset and we try to do our best to get more stuff in,” Calhoun said.

“It’s busier than normal, so patience is a key for not only us but the customers,” Rogers said. “Sometimes we’re out of stuff and people don’t understand, but we’re doing our best.”

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