Hurricane Irma leaves empty shelves of water as preparations begin

Posted: 11:55 PM, Sep 04, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-04 23:55:13-04

Preparations are underway across Southwest Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.

“Publix is swarmed with people right now,” said Amanda Ledrew, who was shopping for hurricane prep items on Monday.

Ledrew and others, using the holiday to get what they might not have time to buy as they go back to work tomorrow and finding what they’re looking for has already been bought by others.

Some grocery stores can’t keep up with the rush. Pictures of empty shelves circulated all over social media Monday as stores struggle to keep their shelves stocked.

“It's a madhouse, the whole isle is just packed,” said Olivia Marsala, who went shopping specifically for water.
"I see everybody freaking out trying to get all this water and scavenging for it,” Marsala said.

Marsala went to the Publix on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral to find most of the shelves empty of water. "They were all out of the big jugs so I just got little bottles.”

But Publix fans can rest assured. A note on the empty shelf Monday says they expect to have more water in the morning.

Publix isn’t the only local store struggling to keep water on the shelves.

Empty shelves were also reported at the Walmart on Estero Parkway and U.S 41, the Walmart in Labelle and a Walmart on Fort Myers Beach.

“We saw the devastation and everything going on with Harvey and it's hitting close to home cause now we have a hurricane that's coming here,” said Jessica Rodriguez, a Southwest Florida mother.

Rodriguez says even though the forecast may change, she’s not taking any chances.

“Better to be prepared than not to be prepared."