Busi­nesses brace for big storm

As res­i­dents stock up on sup­plies, many stores board up.

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By JAN SJOSTROM

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

Allen Eye­stone / Daily News

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.

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