The rush for readiness is on as shoppers stock up on supplies for storm survival as Hurricane Florence continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean.
Half of an early-afternoon delivery of 200 generators to the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on Capital Boulevard went home with customers by dinnertime.
Assistant sales manager Chevy Kelly said it seems people are taking a lesson from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“I think they’re starting a lot earlier. Before, we were getting customers at the last minute looking for generators. We were sold out, we weren’t getting any more. Now they’re ahead of the game,” Kelly said.
“On Friday, when the news started talking about it, people started coming in. We sold out today. We are about to unload a truck of generators right now, thank God, because we’ve got people coming in, customers waiting on them.”
Matt Priode and David Hall were among a small crowd who waited patiently for a forklift operator to unload the new shipment.
“I decided this morning to look for one,” Priode said. “Last time there was a hurricane coming through, didn’t have any power. With ice storms, it’s time to have something done so I kind can have at least a little power and keep up with what’s going on. Give us a little heat, keep some water going because we’re on a well pump.”
Hall said he needed a generator to power a different type of pump.
His family relies on a basement as a protective shelter during severe weather, but water sometimes gets in so they have pumps to keep things dry.
“They’re all electrical, so these generators are what we need to survive on,” he said. “If that basement floods, then there goes our home for our shelter. We want to try to stay safe and we also want to try to avoid any potential flooding.”
Hall said he lost power for two weeks after Hurricane Fran hit in 2006. He bought a generator soon after in an effort to avoid being in the bind again but said the old motor is no longer reliable.
Lowe’s employees said other big sellers include batteries, flashlights, fuel for generators and portable stoves, tarps, and bottled water.