The National Hurricane Center has now issued a hurricane warning from Golden Beach in northern Dade County up through Sebastian Inlet. A tropical storm warning is now in effect from the Florida Keys through all of Miami.
That means that today is the very last day to prepare for the oncoming storm. Though many Miamians are jaded about hurricane prepping, choosing to buy a few candles and a bottle or two of red wine, falling tree limbs, palm fronds, and debris could well take out power for a few days or more.
At the Miami Shores Publix, shoppers came out in droves to buy supplies for the storm. Though busy, the store remained orderly and people were in good spirits.
Publix employees restocked shelves with cans of tuna, Gatorade, and granola bars as soon as supplies were depleted, but the water aisle was woefully devoid of bottles. Miamians desperate for hydration, nabbed seltzers instead. One man joked to a woman who was putting nearly every bottle of Perrier left in her cart, "we're all going to die but you." She replied that he's welcome to come over and share her sparkling water hoard. A new shipment of bottled water was expected to arrive today.
The lack of bottled water didn't deter Dolores Wright. The North Miami resident was filling up 21 bottles at one of the two water vending machines found outside the store. Wright didn't even have plans to set foot inside the Publix. "This is all I need." Wright said she stockpiles bottles at the start of each hurricane season as a precaution. As for whether the storm would hit? "I can't predict that. We have a good possibility."
Miami Shores resident Natalia Brooks did try to purchase bottled water but was disappointed to find nothing left. Instead, she bought Gatorade, chips, and other non-perishable snacks. Brooks, who had weathered Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, said she didn't think Matthew was as monstrous a storm, but was erring on the side of caution. "I think it's going to hit us. I think we'll get something from it, from experience. But I don't think it's going to be an Andrew. That was no piece of cake. That was a good one."
According to a spokesperson, Publix stores in Miami will be open for normal business hours. The store has also set up a website to update the public with any changes or store closings. Visit publix.com/status/ for more information.