Residents prepare for Florence

Published 10:13 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence is projected to make an impact in Suffolk on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center, but residents are starting to prepare days ahead to make sure they have their supplies.

As the threat of flooding, high winds and other destruction rises, residents are flocking to stores around the city to purchase supplies like water, batteries, generators and sandbags.

Some stores are running out of emergency items quickly, and they aren’t sure that they will be able to replenish them.

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The Lowe’s on North Main Street has already run out of generators and water, according to store manager Stephen Poole.

“It’s been pretty hectic all day and people are focused on power products and flood products,” Poole said.

The rest of the store was full of people rushing to grab an assortment of products to help save their homes from flooding and to keep the power going.

People are stocking up on batteries, Shop-Vacs, tarps, portable air conditioning units and fans, Poole said.

“For me, living in the peninsula and living through Isabel, I’m more worried about the rain and how the ground is already saturated,” Poole said. “Flood control is on my mind.”

Residents are just as concerned about flooding, and they are buying sandbags by the dozens to keep the water out of the house.

Brandon Schoonover, who lives by Lakeland High School, filled his trucks with sandbags to make sure his house wouldn’t flood before he left for a work trip.

“I’ve dealt with a few storms here and if it rains hard we get a lot of standing water,” he said. “I’ve been talking about getting ready for this for a few days now.”

Whether the storm hits hard or not, Schoonover would rather be safe than sorry.

“It’s probably cheaper to pay for $100 worth of sandbags than to have your garage flooded,” Schoonover said.