PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — As state and local officials prepare for Hurricane Idalia to hit Florida, a hardware store in Port St. Lucie is seeing customers preparing for the hurricane.
Idalia could create life-threatening storm surge, flooding, heavy rainfall and strong winds across western Florida. A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Ron DeSantis for 46 counties.
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George Valine, who is a manager at Rocky's ACE Hardware store, said the Florida Department of Transportation bought a few chainsaws and blades from his store for cutting teams. He said state purchases for parts are unusual.
"The Department of Transportation will come in and buy equipment, but just buying blades to make sure all their equipment is usable," Valine said. "That is different."
He said he believed crews maintained products, which could have been more difficult to find when supply chain shortages occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kim Collins, who lives in St. Lucie County, said she started to begin preparing for Idalia because her property floods during significant storms. She said she bought sandbags and tape to stop flooding, which cost her about $60.
“It’s just to be better prepared," Collins said. "It’s less stressful if you’re ahead of the game."
Valine said it's common for stores to run out of products during and after storms. He said he had a customer travel to his store from across the state to get products, which he couldn't find closer to his home.