People in Florida Keys stock up, prepare to evacuate ahead of Irma

Threat of Hurricane Irma lingers

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

MARATHON, Fla. - With Hurricane Irma just days away, people in the Florida Keys were seen Tuesday stocking up with supplies ahead of the powerful storm.

It wasn't hard to find pallets of bottled water at a grocery store in Marathon: the main Publix in town. Many shoppers said they planned to evacuate from their homes and head north, but they stopped to pick up essential supplies first.

People were seen with plenty of water and carts full of food items.

The store itself also was preparing. A crew was spotted putting up hurricane shelters.

It seemed clear that Hurricane Irma had people in the Keys worried. A number of businesses were shut down earlier Tuesday, and Local 10 News learned some won't reopen until after the storm passes.

Schools are closed at least through the end of the week.

Evacuations will begin with tourists at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents will be under an evacuation order beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The process is expected to go in phases, but traffic will likely be heavy as the week progresses.

Until then, people continue to safeguard and shore up their property across the Keys.

One woman was seen bringing in potted plants and other items at her home in Key Largo.

"(I'm) just basically getting ready," she said. "We'll get gas and get propane and be ready for it."

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