Generators running out with rush for hurricane supplies

Several Central Florida hardware stores report they’re short on or completely out of power generators as residents rush to stock up on hurricane supplies.

Shoppers at the Home Depot in Lake Mary found the generator aisle completely empty on Monday. Even gas cans and support items were stripped from the shelves.

Manager Russell Harris said their final units were sold on Sunday, and he doubts the next shipment will make it to the store by the time Hurricane Irma would potentially be affecting the area.

"We're not transferring from other stores, it's like first come first serve. When we're out, we're out,” said Harris.

Other hardware stores said Monday that they find themselves in a similar position. Many of them were short on gas generators to begin with though.

Harris said much of the local supply was shipped or rerouted to the Houston area to help the population hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Other items are in a better situation, but going fast.

Throughout the day Monday Harris’s store went through pallet after pallet of bottled water. Items like batteries and flashlights also went fast.

The Target in Lake Mary saw a similar rush as Labor Day shoppers added hurricane provisions to their list.

"As soon as the lunch hour hit we definitely noticed a big rush. So we saw people leaving with lots of water, people coming in looking for batteries, flashlights, things like that,” said assistant manager Rachel Saunders.

Many local residents took to social media Monday posting pictures of empty water shelves and other picked over supplies.

Saunders’ team was stocking water almost constantly Monday with cases going into customers’ carts almost as fast as they could get them on the shelves. Luckily, she said shipments of those supplies continue to come in strong and they are confident their shelves will stay full for people to be covered in case of the worst.

Harris and other local stores echoed that but urged people not to wait until the last minute and potentially find more supplies picked over.

As of Monday night Florida was in “the cone” of Irma’s forecast path, but no data was available for Central Florida just yet.