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Customers clear local shelves ahead of Hurricane Florence arrival

RICHMOND, Va. -- It’s safe to say everything is flying off the shelves at local stores as customers prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

Many stores are completely sold out of water, generators and basic emergency supplies.

Tuesday morning, CBS 6 stopped by Pleasants Hardware and Ellwood Thompson’s to find out how storm preparations are impacting their inventory.

“They just unloaded generators and they’re going out the door as fast as they are coming off the truck,” said Timothy Vanorden.

Melissa Jenkins, the store manager of Pleasants Hardware, said customers are buying every emergency supply you can think of.

“Generators, flashlights, batteries, gas cans, water,” she said.

“It’s earlier than usual. So, I think it’s going to be a crazy storm and people are taking heed the warnings, for once,” said Jenkins.

Photos taken by customers at a Mechanicsville Walmart Monday night show aisle once filled with water, now empty. Walmart employees tell CBS 6 that they don’t know when their next shipment will be.

Sean Pumphrey, the Store Manager at Ellewood Thompson’s market tells CBS 6, many shoppers are flocking to the big chain retailers and overlooking the locally owned markets.

The good news is, Pumphrey says they have plenty of inventory.

“We worked late last night, early this morning. We worked with our distribution partners and got some water in,” he added.

Meanwhile the clock is ticking until Florence touches down on the east coast and shoppers aren’t taking any chances.

“Now is the time to get it because it’s going to be too late,” said Vanorden.

Ellwood Thompson’s says they plan on being open during the storm and they’re expecting another shipment by Thursday.

Kroger sent CBS 6 a statement confirming that they are replenishing their stock of water.

“Two deliveries are coming in a day, morning and evening. There’s such a high demand right now that as quick as water and other essential items are coming out, they are off the shelves,” said Allison McGee, corporate affairs manager with Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “There were lines this morning waiting for the next shipment of water. But Kroger is restocking it as quickly as possible based on the delivery schedule. Kroger is committed to excellent customer service with an unwavering dedication to providing quality products, especially during crucial times such as this.”

Hurricane Florence impact in Central Virginia

State emergency officials said some areas of the Commonwealth could see catastrophic levels of flooding because of Florence.

Tuesday morning’s model looks different than Monday’s runs in that a low-pressure system that had been right around Richmond has now moved south of the city. That has resulted in models indicating Florence will take more of a westerly route, away from Central Virginia.

Heavy rainfall will overspread Virginia on Friday with tropical storm force winds possible on Saturday, especially across Southside Virginia. Conditions should improve late in the weekend.

Some projections predict upwards of 20 inches of rain in some areas with generally eight to 10 and 12 to 15 inches across over half the Commonwealth,” according to Jeff Stern, State Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for complete coverage of Florence. Click here to track the storm with the CBS 6 Interactive Hurricane Tracker

Depend on the CBS 6 Weather Authority

Depend on the CBS 6 Weather Authority

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