As Mike Siner cut a piece of plywood, he marveled at the scene around the Gulfport Lowe's. "It's been a madhouse," he said. "People are just, they're in here buying everything up."
Plywood was the first thing to fly off shelves. So when Will Kennedy showed up to buy his window protection, he didn't have much of a selection. "I figured there would be a lot of plywood gone," he said. "But not this much."
The empty plywood shelves will be restocked, just in case Hurricane Ivan targets South Mississippi.
So will bottled water displays at the Wal Mart Supercenter. Donald Bunch is the store's water deliveryman. "I'll have some more water coming out in just a second," he told a customer. Bottled water disappeared almost as fast at the plywood. As quickly as it arrived at the Highway 49 Wal Mart, hurricane shoppers gobbled it up. "I don't think I'm the most popular yet," laughed Bunch. "But people want water, so we get them water."
Brian Thomas is Wal Mart's District Manager. He runs seven stores in South Mississippi. "Every store has got truckloads coming in today and tomorrow," he said. "But it's difficult to predict what people want, and have adequate quantities on hand."
That's why so many people went hurricane shopping before Ivan even entered the gulf.
One of those shoppers was Gulfport's Ernie Harvey. "It's panic," he said. "Anybody who's been through the hurricane before, that's panicville. It's human nature."
Because of all the hurricane problems in Florida, stores are having a hard time stocking up on hurricane supplies. Whatever they found today is on its way here. It should be on shelves in the morning.