BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Floridians were busy this weekend preparing for what could be a major hurricane headed in their direction.
From Tampa Bay to the Florida Panhandle, weather experts and elected officials urge people to keep an eye on the forecast.
Tropical Storm Ian is expected to arrive in Florida as a hurricane between the middle and end of next week.
After suffering from Category 5 Hurricane Michael in 2018, many residents said they aren’t taking chances this year as far as preparedness goes.
Sue and Ben Langman are new to the Panhandle. They recently moved from Michigan.
They were some of the many residents trying to prepare for what could be a major hurricane.
“When we were up North you knew don’t drive, don’t this, don’t that but people didn’t die, you know,” Ben Langman said. “So we have no idea. Is this life-threatening? Is it just inconvenient? We don’t know.”
The Langmans said they have gone to multiple stores in search of hurricane preparedness supplies but they ran into difficulties on Sunday while shopping.
“Everybody’s out of generators right now,” Sue Langman said.
Generators, plywood, and water were just a few items flying off shelves.
In just a day’s time, an estimated 700 cases of water were out the door of the Home Depot in Panama City.
“The only store that had some at 9 o’clock was the beach store,” Panama City Home Depot Customer Service Specialist Jack Milam said. “454 cases but most likely those are gone right now.”
30 generators were brought onto the floor of the Panama City Home Depot Sunday morning. Milam said they were gone within five minutes.
He said he doesn’t know when they will get more, but they are hoping to get some early in the coming week.
“It’s just it’s crazy right now,” Milam said. “It’s crazy.”
Over in Lynn Haven, residents were going to pick up sandbags by the dozens at Cain Griffin Park.
“There’s been about 100 people in the last hour since the first hour of opening,” Sandbag Handler Cody Hibbs said. “So it’s been pretty hectic.”
While there are plenty of sandbags to be handed out all week, some people are left with no choice but to leave stores empty-handed.
Unfortunately, the Langmans were two of those people.
When we asked if they were going to try to go to any more stores, they said they are giving up.