Frantic shoppers empty store shelves

The Baytown Kroger on Garth Road was a dark place to shop on Wednesday as the store was set to close at 5 p.m. amid turned off lights, emptied freezers and refrigerators and minimal water in sight. The city continued to deal with the aftermath of a winter storm that left many without power for hours and all waiting for public access to water for going on a second full day. 

For the second time in a year, grocery outlets in Baytown have been put under duress due to natural threats and this time during the current winter storm aftermath that has left parts of the city without power and all of it, inexplicably longing for water.

Both situations have caused various situations for stores like Kroger, H-E-B and Food Town to adjust on the fly and do what they can to help with shortages that they can only do so much to appease.

“H-E-B is prepared to address any issues that our partners and communities are facing,” Lisa Helfman, public affairs director for H-E-B Houston, said. “While we are experiencing power and water issues just like our customers, we are doing everything we can to feed Texans as safely and efficiently as possible. With limited water, our stores are presented with additional challenges. We are doing our best to get product into the stores and on the shelves, and product availability is on a store-by-store basis. 

“Stores will remain open with modified hours, as they are able. However, store hours could be adjusted according to local situations at any time.”

For updates on store hours and any other potential changes visit https://newsroom.heb.com/. 

Kroger, which has two stores in Baytown, is working diligently hoping to address any shortages – especially water.

“As Houston and surrounding areas are impacted by the continuing cold weather and water boil notice, we are working diligently to transport additional water supplies to all Kroger locations,” Clara Campbell, corporate affairs manager for Kroger, said. “We have more than 200,000 pallets of water making its way to stores today and over the coming days. We are also working closely with hospitals and food banks, along with city representatives to ensure that essential organizations have access to bottled water.”

XXX also noted that many Kroger stores have been affected by the widespread power outages.

“We have communicated our request for continuous power to the local energy providers, in order to be able to provide food and water to our local communities during this time of great need,” Campbell said.

Customers can visit kroger.com to see the current opening hours for their local store.

Food Town on 3517 N. Main Street, has been able to run without any power outages according to manager Raymond Gonzalez.

Their store has been able to provide water, milk and eggs, but only for a short time as demand for items has been outstripping supply.

“We have been very fortunate that we didn’t lose power through this whole ordeal and we have crowd control at the front of the store,” Gonzalez said. “(Wednesday) morning we hardly had any milk or eggs and didn’t have any bread or water. That has all come in, but we are almost out of water. We don’t have many eggs, we didn’t get much bread and didn’t get any milk. It’s a day-by-day deal: So many vendors aren’t able to get the product.”

Gonzalez noted that persons could visit the store, but to anticipate shortages if they make the trip.

“We are going through a pallet of water every 20 minutes,” Gonzalez said. “I did put a limit two on it so we could spread it out to the community.” 

Most Baytown convenience stores have been shut down due to a lack of power and/or water.

 

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