RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginians are gearing up ahead of Hurricane Irene. Items like batteries and flashlights are flying off shelves all around town.
"Batteries were really probably the first thing to go; flashlights are gone; it really started picking up yesterday probably around noon," said Pleasant's Hardware store manager Clay Butler.
Employees are staying busy; they sold a generator over the phone while we were there, and they're seeing more than just the regular local shoppers.
"We are getting a lot of people from towards the beach where they cannot find things down there; they are actually coming up here to get stuff from us, so we've had that going on also," Butler said.
But a number of items are now sold out; we ran into one shopper who couldn't find what she wanted.
"We were looking for our D batteries; they have no D batteries here or at CVS or Krogers; we've looked around for D batteries," Carolyn Briggs said.
Briggs says she's keep searching and in the meantime is preparing ahead of the storm in other ways.
"We are getting some water, and we are checking in with our family, and we are getting a couple of extra loaves of bread and some peanut butter and checking with our neighbors," she added.
More items are on the way to stock these shelves. The store wasn't quite ready for the surge since they've been burned before.
"We were doing a kind of lets wait and see because in the past we've bought a bunch of stuff and then we are stuck with a bunch of stuff, so it really wasn't until yesterday around noon that we said, 'okay, lets see where we can starting sourcing some of this stuff,'" Butler said.
Sales of chainsaws, which they still have plenty off have picked up as people anticipate storm damage. Employees aren't surprised by the increase.
"It happens every year with the snow storms; we get people looking for that stuff; I always find it kind of funny that people wait until the very last minute to try and find things," he said.
Employees expect to have the shelves restocked by first thing Saturday morning.