Food stores

Hurricane Ida: Grocery stores struggle to stay stocked despite shortages

Businesses in Mississippi and Louisiana struggled to meet demands for food and water in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Ida which swept through the state this week.

Rouse Market in Diamondhead cannot replace inventory fast enough as residents attempt to restock their homes following severe flood damage and continued power outages.

“We’ve been very busy since Friday morning with the influx of people from Louisiana,” Rouse’s manager Chuck Clark told WLOX. “A lot of people are looking for eggs, bread, hot dishes and fresh produce. It’s just the basics.”

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“The Diamondhead community is awesome and always wants to help out,” he added. “We have a lot of people here who want to buy pallets of water to send over there, but I just don’t have the water here.”

Lack of delivery at scheduled times due to clogged roads and lack of available drivers has exacerbated the problem. Authorities closed the Mississippi River to barge traffic ahead of the storm, and New Orleans International Airport closed cargo traffic Aug. 29, Quartz reported.

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In combination, this means no supplies are getting to people who desperately need them. Without electricity, the food residents have in fridges and freezers has also started to spoil.

Vessel operations at the Port of New Orleans remained closed until September 1, when the harbor master set conditions to “normal”, but cargo operations will not resume until September 6, according to statements on the Port NOLA website.

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More than a million Louisiana residents still have no power, and officials warn power may not return for weeks, the BBC reported.

“The systems we relied on to save lives and protect our city did just that and we are grateful for that, but there is still a lot of work to do,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Monday.

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Cantrell urged residents who have already evacuated to stay away until power and communications are restored.