Stores restock hurricane supplies as fast as they can

Northeast Florida residents stock up on water, generators as Dorian threatens

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – As Dorian looms closer and the forecast gets more menacing, people in Northeast Florida flocked to grocery and hardware stores to stock up on hurricane supplies, including water, canned goods, gas cans, flashlights and tarps.

News4Jax viewers flooded us Wednesday with photos of empty shelves at area stores. Many of those restoked overnight and through the day Thursday. The Costco Wholesale store in Argyle Forest sold out of 60 pallets carrying nearly 3,000 cases of water in less than 1½ hours. They were expecting another truck Friday.

Shopper Theresa Foskey said there was a line when she showed up as Costco opened at 10 a.m.

"(I) walked straight back got the water and that was it. It was pretty easy but I think that they are out of water now," Foskey said. "Stock up and try to get it early ... because they run out quick!"

People out buying supplies weren't panicking, but they were definitely preparing early.

Supermarkets and wholesale stores aren't the only places you can buy bottled water. Check at your local pharmacies, sports stores like Academy Sports, gas stations and you can use your tap water to fill empty clean water bottles and containers that you may already have around your house.

It was all hands on deck at the Ace Hardware in Neptune Beach, where employees have worked around the clock to make sure supplies are on the shelves. That's why they continue to order more for coming days. On Wednesday, a steady stream of people was coming through to make sure they are prepared for whatever Dorian may bring. 

"I'm hoping we don't get it," said customer Marilyn Stucki. "I've been in this area 65 years. I'm from South Florida."

But just in case, shoppers don't want to be left in the dark -- literally. 

"I have a generator and I'm getting petty of gas and getting prepared for the storm," customer Jonathan McCance said. 

Employees are working overtime to keep up with the demand.

"We try to overstock on those things so we can be ready," Ace Hardware co-owner Steve Proctor said.

Proctor has been rush ordering extra shipments of the essentials. 

"(It's a) very challenging time. Watched the news at 11 o'clock last night and went, 'Oh no.' Got on the internet and placed a large additional order for hurricane supplies," he said.

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"The way they have it tracking now, it could be coming this way," McCance said. "And I'm going to make sure I'm ready."

The Costco at the Markets at Town Center told News4Jax Wednesday evening that the store was out of generators, but an order has been put in and more are expected in the next couple of days. The Costco was also out of D batteries and water Wednesday night, but was expected to have more water Thursday morning.

At the Ace Hardware in Neptune Beach, generators were also selling very quickly, with only a couple left on the shelves as of Wednesday afternoon. Managers said they have ordered dozens more and customers can preorder one, prepay for it and it will arrive by Friday. 

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