Hurricane Florence Causing Grocery Stores to Run Out of Produce


Photo: Produce section of Wytheville Walmart

Photo: Produce section of Wytheville Walmart

The sign in the produce section of the Wytheville, Virginia, Walmart left little doubt as to why what are normally shelves filled with fresh vegetables and produce was empty: Hurricane Florence.

“Due to Hurricane Florence, many of our trucks had to be diverted causing some issues with instock on some items. We apologize for any inconvenience. We are working to get instock as soon as possible,” read the sign.

The small section of empty shelf space in Southwest Virginia is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is happening on throughout the region: With Interstate highways in the Carolinas flooded and impassable, the nation’s transportation infrastructure has temporarily been halted in places and the result is that many East Coast tractor-trailers are not able to deliver their critically important goods to consumers.

Hurricane Florence has forced portions of Interstate 40, as well as Interstate 95, one of the nation’s busiest Interstate highways, closed and though state and federal officials have made restoring national interstate transportation back to normal a top priority, empty shelves at grocery stores hundreds of miles away from the storm’s eye reveal just how reliant all of us are for the big trucks to keep moving.

We have often heard it said, “No trucks, no food”, and this week, many of us are getting just a tiny test of this reality.

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