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Many in SWFL remain stocked up since start of hurricane season ahead of Eta

Wind is one of the main concerns as Southwest Florida prepares for Eta. Families are stocking up on supplies in case the power goes out, but many people we talked to say their hurricane kit has remained untouched, so they are in pretty good shape.

We walked through multiple grocery stores Friday. Many of the items you’d typically pick up ahead of a hurricane were in stock.

We also stopped by gas stations and a Home Depot. They didn’t seem busier than normal, and we also heard mixed responses from people about their preparations, especially with the election still heavy on people’s minds.

“Everything was election, election, election,” Benny Green said. “And you blink, and, all of the sudden, there’s a storm coming at you.”

Green says he has what he needs for the storm but will get extra gas for his generator.

Eliusy Cruz is in the same situation. She has family in Cuba. Because they’ll soon feel the storm’s effects, she worries about their safety.

“Anything that happens in Cuba, it’s a disaster,” Cruz explained.

Images out of Nicaragua are what worry her the most. She says she already sent back money, so they could get supplies as well.

“It’s not even supplies. It’s more food,” Cruz said. “Because there’s no food in Cuba.”

We drove throughout Lee County talking with people getting groceries and filling up their tanks. Many said they’re still prepared from the start of hurricane season. Others said it would take a Category 3 or higher for them to worry.

“One or less to us is typical day in Florida,” Lyle Smith said.

But we heard a different sentiment from shoppers at a local Home Depot.

“After going through Irma, I’ve just learned my lesson to be prepared in advance,” Kelly McWilliams said.

Of the dozens of people we spoke to, many said the lack of big storms hitting Southwest Florida and the coronavirus are why their pantries are still stocked with what they need.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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