Barbadians rushed to the City today to do their last minute shopping in preparation for expected bad weather late tonight.
There was hardly any walking space in some supermarkets and stores as locals stocked up on emergency supplies.
Store managers and supervisors told Barbados TODAY that bottled water, torchlights, canned food and portable radios were disappearing off the shelves as soon as they were restocked.
The scene at the popular Tropicana store on Swan Street was like no other. Young and old were pouring into the store to purchase batteries, torchlights and radios.
Store Manager Dacia Moore said even before the store threw open its doors at eight this morning, shoppers were gathered outside. Female employees were kept busy as customers tested out radios and lights to ensure they were in good working order.
“From the time our doors opened people were just rushing to get their radios, flashlights and their batteries. It has been a very busy morning.
“From the time we opened until now we haven’t had a moment to break. It has just been constant shopping,” Moore said, adding that the store was prepared to go beyond its usual closing time at 5 p.m. if the need arose.
Meanwhile, Kirtis Alleyne, a supervisor at Savings Plus supermarket, Swan Street told Barbados TODAY batteries have been moving off the shelves “like never before”.
“Usually we see this traffic on Saturdays, but today we have been incredibly busy restocking shelves and we have had to keep bringing out batteries,” Alleyne said.
Manager at Mall Mart Nirmal Thani said the rush started at his supermarket just after 5 p.m. yesterday, indicating to him that people were paying attention to the weather updates from the relevant authorities.
“A lot of people started coming in and batteries started going off the shelves. People were buying torchlights, lanterns and their usual sardines, tuna fish, biscuits, juices and milk.
“Water is the biggest seller right now,” he revealed, adding that sales had peaked around midday.
“We are very busy and it is probably going to get busier as the day goes by,” Thani added.
The Assistant Manager at Carters General Store, the City, Tara Waithe, reported that all hands were on deck to assist shoppers, especially those with queries about products that could be useful in bad weather.
“We are just busy right now. People started coming from yesterday. All I can say is that we are busy,” Waithe said before rushing off to assist customers.
When Barbados TODAY spoke to some of the shoppers they said they just wanted to be prepared, though some of them questioned whether the bad weather would actually come.
“I don’t feel it coming, but I getting ready because I live in the country and if anything happen I got to be prepared,” one shopper, who requested anonymity, said.
Suzan Browne, a mother of four who was waiting in line at Savings Plus, declared that “I ain’t got no choice but to prepare because it is not only me I got to worry about.
“I got four children and all of them depending on me, so I got to look for them if anything happen. I got to make sure that them got things there to eat and drink. I going here now and look for a radio when I leave here,” Browne said.