As retailers restock demand for hurricane supplies wanes

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Just in case, stores are trying to maintain stock as Irma approaches the US mainland.

Many who have observed the behavior of consumers ahead of big storms like Irma were surprised by how early the rush on retailers began.

At the Seaboard Ace Hardware in downtown Raleigh manager Jericho Barbour called it a "madhouse" saying the droves of customers started coming Tuesday evening.

"Usually it's only a couple days before the storm comes that people prepare but it's been five, six, seven days out people are coming in getting ready," Barbour told ABC11.

The good news is that the rush came early enough for retailers like Seaboard Ace to restock.

This morning a truck arrived at the store and a lot of what was on it was on it was hurricane supplies.

Barbour has a theory about the early rush.

"With Harvey down in Texas it's just that people are a little bit nervous," he said. "They're worried that it's going to be like that here."

Customer Janis Dellinger-Holton of Raleigh, who was in the store to buy lanterns, confirmed Barbour's theory.

"Harvey coming through and us seeing what it did to Houston and other things," she said. "And then the people stuck."

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But Dellinger-Holton was one of only a few customers who was looking for hurricane supplies Friday.

The demand seems to have evaporated overnight.

Apparently, as Irma's track shifted west away from the Triangle the urgency for supplies shifted with it.

Barbour took note saying, "I think with it changing its course people are maybe altering their game plan."

But he knows his restocking efforts may not be a waste of energy as Mother Nature is so unpredictable.

"It could circle right back and we could be right in the thick of it before we know it. And we're ready for it."

And even if Irma doesn't change course it never hurts to have non-perishable hurricane supplies around this time of year with a big chunk of the hurricane season still ahead of us.

RELATED: Big Weather's hurricane emergency kit

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hurricane irmaconsumerretailRaleigh
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