• Stores struggle to replenish shelves as Central Florida residents look for groceries after Irma

    By: Karen Parks

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - While many grocery stores in Central Florida have reopened after Hurricane Irma, some shoppers were still leaving empty-handed Wednesday because the businesses have been struggling to restock their shelves.

    Stores visited by Channel 9 were generally stocked at about 65 percent while their parking lots were packed with shoppers trying to replenish their pantries.

    Is your neighborhood grovery store open? Click here to find out.

    Whole Foods spokeswoman Vicky Santamaria said the chain was having difficulty getting food because, in many cases, there is no way to transport it.

    "Right now we are just opened with what we had when we closed last week," she said. "Our distribution center is down south."

    Many people still don't have power. Click here for updates on the power outages.

    Water was still a scarce commodity and perishables like cheese were hard to come by, shoppers said. 

    While the food that people need may not arrive at the store for a while, Santamaria said anyone was welcome at the store, even if they come just to get out of the heat.

    Photos: This is what store shelves looked like before Hurricane Irma

    "The most important thing is we have WiFi, we have air conditioning," she said. "Especially for the families in our community that still don't have power, they are more than welcome to come sit in our cafe, charge their phones, contact their families (to) let them know they are safe (or) get out of the heat for a little bit."

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