SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida food retailers weathered the first hurricane of the season last week with minimal impact after the storm lost much of its power before it ripped through the state's panhandle.
some roof damage, and a second store in the county was closed due to a power outage, a spokeswoman for the company told SN.
A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., said 10 stores were still closed for a day after the storm, but most were scheduled to open by the next morning. A total of 78 Wal-Mart locations were closed at the peak of the storm, most due to mandatory evacuations. The company had 12 reports of minor damage to its stores, she added.
Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla., said some stores in that chain closed early due to flood forecasts, but despite some minor cosmetic damage at some locations, all stores were reopened by the next day.
Although Kash N' Karry/Sweetbay, based in Tampa, Fla., saw a run-up in sales of batteries and bottled water in its stores in the Naples, Fla., market before the storm hit, the stores were not otherwise affected, a spokeswoman told SN.
Some forecasters have predicted an especially active hurricane season this year, after a record four hurricanes made landfall in 2004 in Florida, causing 80 deaths and more than $20 billion in damages. This year's season began early. Last year, all four storms occurred between Aug. 12 and Sept. 25.