‘Wise decisions.’ Liquor stores and revelers stocked up ahead of Hurricane Florence

Customers trickled into Green’s Beverages on Assembly Street Tuesday looking for handles of vodka and cases of beer.

Manager Ashton Simon organizes black plastic bags meant to hold a liquor bottle with nervous hands. It’s been busier than usual in Green’s, she said. But the storm has yet to arrive.

“We’re preparing,” she say. “We’re waiting.”

Many South Carolinians also are preparing. While many stock up on bread, batteries and water, others seek out harder beverages.

“Last year was nuts,” Simon said, referring to Hurricane Irma’s trek toward South Carolina. “It hasn’t gotten to that point — yet.”

Green’s patron Steven Hogg said he was not preparing for a hurricane party, but was stocking up with beer and liquor just in case.

“I’m just making wise decisions,” Hogg said.

Green’s store manager Gary Kangas said people from Charleston and Myrtle Beach have come into the store saying they’re outrunning Florence.

Saturday’s SEC football game between South Carolina and Georgia in Columbia left the shelves a bit lighter at Morganelli’s on Forest Drive, shopkeeper Dennis Morganelli said. But they’ve remedied the situation, and no one should worry about leaving the store empty-handed.

In addition to bottles, many patrons are leaving with another staple: ice.

“You got to have something to mix drinks with,” Morganelli says.

The hurricane has driven people in the door, “no doubt about it,” he says.

“We had people saying they’re here because they got evacuees coming,” Morganelli said.

That was the case for one customer leaving the Forest Drive store with a box of about six bottles headed to her home. Her family is taking in six evacuees — and their nine dogs — from Pawley’s Island and Charleston.

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