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Bottled water first to go as Tampa Bay-area preps for Ian

A Publix in St. Petersburg put a limit on bottled water to help others.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As Hurricane Ian strengthens with possible impacts on the Tampa Bay region, people are getting prepared for what's to come.

Part of preparations for severe weather include necessities such as non-perishable food, water, batteries, a change of clothing and more. Local groceries are bearing the brunt of those preps as bottled water is flying off of the shelves.

Publix at Gateway Crossing on Roosevelt Boulevard in St. Petersburg began placing limits on bottled water. The limits include two individual 24 or 32 packs of water per household per day and four 1-gallon water containers per day. 

Shelves at the Publix at Gandy Commons were picked over, leaving shoppers to buy individual bottled water or resort to other stores before restocking. 

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Southeastern Grocers said its Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket locations are experiencing a higher demand for preparedness essentials. Items like bottled water, batteries, cleaning supplies, paper and plastic products are selling quickly, the grocery company reports.

"To ensure we are well stocked to serve our customers, we allocated emergency truckloads of essentials to stores throughout Florida yesterday," the company said.

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