AS water levels around Emerald rose on Friday so did panic levels in the shopping centres, with people frantically stocking up on
Woolworths store manager Les Innes described Friday as “hectic” with the amount of “panic shoppers” coming in to stock up on the basics such as bottled water, milk, bread, cereals, chicken, sausages, processed meat, cheese, pasta, pasta sauces, toilet paper, fruit and vegetables.
“(Woolworths was) fairly empty by (the) end of Friday and we hav
en’t recovered yet. One load came in Monday night and by Thursday we’re looking to get back to normal but need another three loads to fill the shelves,” he said.
Mr Innes said with some products like fresh milk and fresh bread, shelves were emptied by as early as noon on Friday.
The meat department was “non-existent” by Saturday afternoon although it was up and running on Tuesday. The fresh produce section was out by Saturday afternoon but will be ready for today’s trading and the dairy section was “fairly smashed” but was “pretty right” by end of yesterday though the deli section still remains a “bit tight” on fresh chicken.
“We thought we weren’t going to get anything until Tuesday. The information we had said nothing was coming through until then,” Les said.
So it came as an “absolute relief” when Queensland Transport was able to guide the trucks through floodwater on the Capricorn Highway late Monday
But running out of food wasn’t the only issue, with staff not able to come into work.
“(We) didn’t have a lot of staff Friday and Saturday as they couldn’t get here because they were cut off by the floods.”
Now with trucks able to get through, Mr Innes said the issue is getting enough staff to stock up the shelves.
“I’ve ordered a little bit extra for the rain coming — long life milk, flour, sugars and eggs, if it can get here before the rain,” he said.