Store shelves bare as Bay Area preps for Irma

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Before Costco's doors opened in Brandon Tuesday, people were lined up to get their hands on water, in case Hurricane Irma hits the Bay Area.

"People are talking about how nervous they are," said customer, Annette Marcano. "The tension is really thick, you can feel it."

Still days away from knowing what - if any - impact Irma may have, lines formed just to get into Costco's parking lot.

The view from SkyFOX showed cars lined up to fill their gas tanks, as well.

Inside the store, we're told there were more lines.

"The lines are all the way from the front to the back of the store," said Don Koonce, visiting from Indiana.

"There's about a 30 to 45 minute wait, almost an hour now, for water," said Marcano. "To come in, grab your water, and then another line to just get in line to pay."

Customers were limited to five packs of water at Costco and, by noon, many of them had to leave empty-handed. Several told FOX 13 the store ran out of bottled water.

"I just started grabbing things," said Koonce. "It kind of got out of control."

At the Publix on South Dale Mabry, water also flew off the shelves.

"We've got an entire replenishment system in place," said Publix spokesperson Brian West. "Our stores are constantly in conversation with our warehouses. If anything, we're just getting deliveries more frequently as products are being sold off the shelf."

Walmart said it has activated the Emergency Operations Center, so it too can replenish supplies.

It's still too early to tell where Irma might go. Some shoppers say it's better to be safe than sorry and be patient while preparing for a potential impact to Tampa Bay.

"Have faith, the stores are restocking from what I hear, so come out tomorrow morning really early, any area you like to shop at, and be patient and be kind to one another," said Marcano. "We're all in it together." 


-Tampa Bay Area sandbag information 

-Track Hurricane Irma

-Report Price Gouging to the price gouging hotline

-BE PREPARED: Printable Hurricane supply list from

-Make sure your home is hurricane ready

-Flood risk and insurance information

-Florida flood zones and evacuation maps  

-For a FEMA emergency supply checklist click here.