A time lapse look at the lines at gas pumps around Fort Myers as well as a house getting boarded up a head of Hurricane Irma. Andrea Melendez and Amanda Inscore/news-press.com
For continuing coverage of Hurricane Irma go to news-press.com/hurricane.
People in Fort Myers preparing for Hurricane Irma seemed to make a slight pivot Thursday.
There still appeared to be strong demand for plywood, bottled water and certain batteries, but perhaps with not the same frenzy as seen Tuesday and Wednesday.
That could be either because folks had already gotten those supplies or those supplies were no longer or scarcely available.
Other items such as fasteners remained in demand or even gained interest, it appeared, as people put up storm shutters and plywood.
Chase Tyrrell of Fort Myers picked up particle board and 2-by-4s Thursday morning at The Home Depot in south Fort Myers.
"They ran out of sheets of plywood," he said, securing the particle board to the roof of his car. "This is what I could get."
While he prepared, Tyrell said he is more nervous for his family in Fort Lauderdale.
"They're staying out. They're prepared," he said. "They've been through Andrew and Wilma."
At the Lowe's off Veterans Parkway in Cape Coral, plywood was long gone and none was on the way anytime soon. So customers were picking up fencing, single boards, lattice work and particle board.
Some stores were beginning to set limits on how much customers could buy.
Tucker Greene loaded a ladder into his car at a Lowe’s in south Fort Myers. He was preparing to secure his two-store home in the Iona area.
People who started out charging $15 per window to put up shutters or plywood, he said, are now charging $50 per window.
“It’s going to cost $250 to $400 just to secure my upstairs, but you’ve got to be ready,” he said.
Greene will stay here because he has to work, while other family members head to Gainesville.
Inside the Lowe’s, Barry Sherwood of San Carlos Park was in a line with more than 70 others waiting for a load of generators to arrive. He had ticket No. 56. The load was supposed to be there by 11 a.m., but had not gotten there by 11:45 a.m.
“We’re just doing everything we can to prepare,” he said. “I’ve already boarded up the entire house.”
The Fort Myers Police Department sent out a press release Thursday afternoon stating the agency is on scene at Old Metro Parkway and Hanson Street to direct traffic and control congestion at 84 Lumber Depot.
“All traffic on Old Metro is southbound only as customers are creating traffic issues while purchasing plywood and other storm supplies,” it said. “Drivers are asked to avoid the area unless they have business with merchants who are still open.”
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