Residents stock up on the staples — water, bread, batteries


David and Stephanie Franklin load bottles of water onto their truck outside Lowe's in Elizabeth City, Monday afternoon. Area residents are stocking up on the staples — water, bread, batteries — ahead of Thursday's expected arrival of Hurricane Florence off the North Carolina coast.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Area residents might be hoping for the best from Hurricane Florence’s expected arrival in North Carolina later this week, but they’re also preparing for the worst.

Juan Spence, manager at Food Lion on Weeksville Road in Elizabeth City, said Monday the store has been extremely busy since Sunday with people stocking up on the staples, mostly water and bread.

Spence said the store brought in more water on Monday and he had participated in a conference call with Food Lion officials Monday about getting more water in on Tuesday.

“I know we’re going to sell out today,” Spence said of bottled water sales Monday.

Propane, batteries and ice also have been selling fast, Spence said.

Water has been a big seller elsewhere, too.

Although bottled water might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lowe’s, customer after customer came out of the store Monday afternoon with a cart full of bottled water.

Stephanie Franklin and her husband David were among those stocking up on bottled water at the home improvement store. Stephanie said the couple also stocked up on non-perishable food, trash bags, containers for storing important items, and straps for tying items down.

Jack Neal bought water and propane gas Monday afternoon at Lowe’s. He said he also bought a generator about three weeks ago in anticipation of a hurricane. He said he moved here from the Midwest and has experienced tornadoes but has never been through a hurricane before.

An associate at Harbor Freight in Elizabeth City said Monday the store also has been extremely busy. She added that the manager in fact couldn’t come to the phone because they were busy unloading a truck.

At Walmart in Elizabeth City, the store has been busy for a couple of days with people stocking up on supplies in preparation for the storm. Among the most popular items have been bottled water, batteries, flashlights and gas cans, according to manager Jeff Teter.

“I have sold out of generators,” Teter said.

Water has been selling out for a few days but the store restocks the next day.

“I’ve had trailers of water every day,” he said.

Teter said he got four trailers of water Monday and had already sold most of it by late afternoon.

“I’ve still got some left,” he said.