South Georgia residents face empty shelves, dry gas pumps

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 6, 2017

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- With the threat of Hurricane Irma approaching, South Georgia residents are trying to prepare but are struggling to find supplies.

Many have been faced with empty isles at local stores. Several places, like the Walmart on St. Augustine Road, have run out of water.

The store attached signs to empty shelves saying, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are currently out of water. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Shelves for canned food items also needed to be heavily restocked.

It’s a sign that Georgians are trying to complete many preparations of their own as Hurricane Irma threatens the United States.

But, Emergency Management officials are asking residents to be mindful of others.

“We’re encouraging citizens to take what they need, but not everything you can take,” says Paige Dukes with Lowndes County EMA. “Leave some there for the next person.”

Several gas stations in the area are also struggling to meet demands. Many have long lines, or are simply running dry.

Lowndes County officials are telling residents not to worry, and that many gas stations are refilling by the next morning.

They say the low supply of gas could be caused by a number of things, including Harvey’s impact on refineries, the increased travel for Labor Day, and evacuees from Florida.

Code enforcement officers are currently monitoring the area for price gouging.