New Orleans stocks up to ride out Isaac

People venture out into the storm as Tropical Storm Isaac begins to move ashore on August 26, 2012 in Marathon, Fla. Since Katrina, New Orleans has focused on evacuation as a response to hurricanes. This time the advice is to stay put, with a few days' emergency supplies.

Kai Ryssdal: Sal's staying where he is, as are, one might imagine, a whole lot of others in New Orleans, at least until -- or if -- Isaac gets any bigger.

Marketplace's Eve Troeh has more on how businesses in town are handling the hunker-down shoppers.


Eve Troeh: The official plan for the City of New Orleans is to "shelter in place." That means people are shopping for a few days at home, without power or water.

At Canseco's Market, manager Earl Lacour says, as always, the most in-demand item is bottled water.

Earl Lacour: Our shelf is full, but everything that we had in the back this morning is gone.

Stores do carry more water since Katrina, but he can't order extra this close to a storm. There's still plenty of cold cuts and bread, plus an infamous homemade dip called Thunder Cheese.

Lacour: Roberta, we still got Thunder Cheese? Yeah, Thunder Cheese we still got.

He'll decide at 5 a.m. tomorrow whether to board up, or open.

David Blazak's store, Mary's Ace Hardware in the French Quarter, is already sold out of generators and D batteries.

David Blazak: Flashlights, lanterns, tarps, gas cans.

He thinks the focus has been evacuation since Katrina, hence all the last-minute need for basics. Blazak got his last shipment on Friday.

But big retailers like Home Depot and Walmart still have trucks coming in, at least until winds hit tropical storm level. Doug Spiron runs the emergency command center that Home Depot's pulled together in Atlanta.

Doug Spiron: Surrounded by, I don't know, about 200 of my best friends from supply chain, logistics, all the way to our HR people.

The company overstocked New Orleans stores last week, with plywood, radios and bottled water. It already has trucks waiting just outside the storm zone, loaded with after-storm needs: Cleaning supplies, chainsaws, and of course, bottled water.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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