Businesses brace for big storm
As residents stock up on supplies, many stores board up.
If managers of the Publix supermarket had known Hurricane Irma might be paying a visit, they probably would have triple-stocked bottled water. Customers are whisking it up as fast as the store can stock it, store manager Andy De Long said.
Bottled water goes in and out of stock, he said. Outside contractors are hauling in half-truckloads at a time. “We had three today and more is coming,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “The biggest question is when. They’re outside contractors so there’s no schedule.”
The store was out of flashlights and there was a limited selection of batteries. “We’re waiting on a shipment,” De Long said.
Canned goods also are going fast. No decision has been made about whether the store will close for the storm, which is expected to swoop into Palm Beach County this weekend.
Bistro Chez Jean-Pierre, 132 N. County Road, served its last meals before the storm Wednesday night, general manager David Leverrier said. The family-owned restaurant plans to reopen Tuesday.
Business has been slow. “This week is dead,” Leverrier said Wednesday. “Most people on the island either left yesterday or are leaving today. Pretty much everyone is getting out.”
The restaurant plans to put up shutters today and pile sandbags at the doors. “We’re below sea level,” he said.
Salon Margrit at 165 Brazilian Ave. was already secured on Wednesday afternoon. “My son is a contractor and he boarded everything up,” owner Margrit Bessenroth said.
She plans to keep her business open
As weather forecasters and public safety officials warn all of South Florida to prepare for the worst from Hurricane Irma, Giberto Coutreas (foreground) and Luis Pacheco board up a frame shop at the House of Kahn on Peruvian Avenue on Tuesday.