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Stores busy with people stocking up

Grocery store shelves were running low on bread, water and other necessities while local hotels were preparing to fill up Monday and early Tuesday in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac.

     At the Piggly Wiggly on Highway 51, store Co-Manager Mark Springfield said Monday was a very busy day.

     “Yesterday was busy like Christmas Eve,” he said early Tuesday. “These things kind of tend to put people in panic mode, especially those who didn’t get what they wanted yesterday evening.

     “We expect to be busy as well today,” he continued. “I think it’ll be about the same as yesterday judging by what happened this morning.”

     Springfield said the usual hurricane supplies have been popular, such as batteries, flashlights, bread, water and canned meats. He added the store is not out of any of those items as of Tuesday morning, but he did expect that to change.

     “We do expect to run out of some of those things by this evening,” said Springfield.

     At the downtown Brookhaven Piggly Wiggly, Store Manager Bruce Garrett said they have stayed busy as well and expect that to continue through Tuesday.

     “I think today will be busy, but not quite as much as yesterday, especially this afternoon once the rain comes in,” he said.

     Garrett said his store will remain open today, but will have to see how things go beyond that.

     “We’ll just have to see for tomorrow, but as of today we plan to be open,” he said.

     Telephones at Brookhaven’s hotels have been ringing with calls from people looking for rooms in advance of Isaac.

     The Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, Days Inn and Lincoln Inn and Suites all reported being short on rooms, with the Days Inn’s 45 rooms being booked up for Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

     Shelly Lambright with the Days Inn said the calls have kept coming.

     “Today since 7 a.m. I’ve had around 20 calls looking for rooms, but we’re actually booked up for tonight and tomorrow night,” she said Tuesday. “We only had a few rooms available yesterday. That’s when we really started booking up for today and tomorrow. We are still receiving calls from people that are coming in and are looking for hotels.”

     Lambright said they’ve had to send people elsewhere due to the Days Inn being at capacity.

     “It’s hard trying to get everyone rooms, but it is busy,” she said. “We’re having to send people to other properties.”

     The Comfort Inn had only one room available for Wednesday night as of Tuesday morning, but hotel staff said they didn’t expect that to last long.

     Elsewhere, the Hampton Inn’s 67 rooms are mostly full, said Chelsea Pickering.

     “We only have around five left for tonight,” she said. “Wednesday night there are only three rooms available.”

     Pickering expects calls about rooms to increase as the day progresses.

     “It hasn’t been too bad this morning with calls, but it is possible we get some more as the day goes on,” she said.