At least 436 Walmart store locations and Sam’s Clubs located in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are in the path of Hurricane Florence, according to the Bentonville-based retailer.
Hurricane’s are nothing new for Walmart which has its own meteorologist tracking storms, and an emergency response team that works with state and federal agencies to render aid when extreme weather strikes.
Walmart is providing an updated list of store closures on its website during the next few days as Hurricane Florence moves ashore. On Sept. 11, Walmart said there 105 stores and club locations in South Carolina in the storm’s projected path. Nearly 30% of these stores and clubs (29 locations) have already closed as of mid-day Tuesday. Walmart said it would continue to close some stores and adjust hours of operation as the storm approaches.
Two stores in Charleston and two in Conway, S.C., are among those closed as well stores in Garden City Beach, Georgetown, and three locations in Goose Creek. Neighborhood Market stores in Lasdon and Murrells Inlet are also closed along with all stores in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, North Charleston, Summerville and Surfside Beach.
North Carolina has 248 stores and Sam’s Clubs tagged in the path. All but two of the locations were open as of mid-day Tuesday. Supercenters in Burlington and Kitty Hawk, N.C. remain closed, according to the retailer’s website.
While southern Virginia also lay in the path according to some models, Walmart said all of the 83 store and Sam’s Club locations tagged on the site remain open. Walmart said the safety of its workers and customers is always its primary concern.
The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings early Tuesday along the coastal Carolinas and into Southern Virginia. At a category 4, Hurricane Florence is expected to reach land between Charleston, S.C. and Hatteras, N.C. with a projected storm surge up to 12 feet by late Thursday or early Friday. On Wednesday, AccuWeather said the storm could become a category 5 when it hits land.
Act two is expected to play out this weekend as meteorologists project the storm will stall and dump massive rain across the Carolinas and beyond. Inland flooding is expected to with anywhere from 15 to 30 inches of rain throughout the weekend. Tracking estimates issued Wednesday afternoon suggested the storm could veer south into South Carolina and Georgia after it hits land.