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Gainesville grocery stores struggle to keep up with demand ahead of storm

Gainesville grocery stores are struggling to keep up with rising demand for supplies like water and toilet paper. While necessities are being restocked as quickly as possible prior to Hurricane Ian’s arrival, it is unclear how late stores will remain open.

As of noon Wednesday, several locations still have water available. Others may or may not be restocking.

Information on food and water availability is subject to change. 

As of 2 p.m. Ward’s Supermarket on NW 23rd Ave. still had water and other food items. Ward’s will remain open until 8 p.m. It is unclear if the store will be open Thursday and Friday.

Walmart stores in North Gainesville, NW 23rd St, and East Gainesville, NE 12th Ave, are expected to close at noon Wednesday. The Walmart on SW 42nd St, will remain open until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Water supply is limited.

Sam’s Club off of Archer Road has limited availability of water and closes today at 4 p.m.

Winn Dixie on SW Sixth St. will not be receiving new shipments and hours for today and tomorrow have not been decided. 

Target on Archer Road does not have water or bread and does not expect further shipments today. The store is open until 10 p.m. and will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Whole Foods on Archer Road has gallon-sized water jugs. The store will be open until 10 p.m.

Publix stores in the Gainesville area will close at 7 p.m. Wednesday with plans to reopen Thursday at 7 a.m. It is unclear whether stores will receive new shipments due to the storm’s impacts across the state.

The Publix at West Butler Plaza on Archer Road restocked cases of water around 11:30 a.m. but were not expecting further shipments.

If there is no water available to purchase, one way to prepare is to fill in bathtubs and large, clean containers with water from the tap. This water can be used for flushing toilets or cleaning, but should not be consumed. recommends stocking one gallon per person per day for several days.

Alachua County Ready encourages residents to have an emergency supply kit ready and to register for alerts by texting ALACHUA to 888-777.

WUFT and will have live updates as the storm progresses.

Serra is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing