- 62 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club are closed including in Houston, Beaumont, and Lafayette because of expected heavy winds and flash flooding from Hurricane Laura.
- The company has not said when the stores will reopen.
- Cafes and restaurants also shut early last night, along with branches of Kroger and H-E-B.
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Around 60 Walmart stores and clubs across Texas and Louisiana are temporarily closed as the Gulf Coast prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Laura.
Twitter users reported long queues at branches of Walmart and Walmart-owned Sam’s Club across the region, as customers stocked up on essentials. The hurricane hit southwestern Louisiana at 1 a.m. CT on Thursday, and forecasters fear “unsurvivable” conditions from storm surge, heavy winds, and flash flooding.
As of 7 a.m. CT on Thursday, over 40 stores across Texas were shut. Many around Houston have since reopened, leaving only 14 mainly around Beaumont still shut at 11:30 a.m.
Around 46 Walmart stores and clubs in Louisiana were closed as of 11:30 a.m., including many in Lafayette, Lake Charles, Shreveport, and Alexandria. The full list of closures is here.
— Justin Aaron (@JustinAaronUH91) August 26, 2020
The store’s Emergency Operations Centre has not said when the stores are likely to reopen.
Both Texan supermarket chain H-E-B and Kroger closed all their stores around Houston at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday night. More than 50 restaurants and cafes in the Greater Houston area closed early, Chron reported.
The Walmart stores shut include branches of WM Supercenter, Neighbourhood Market, and Sam’s Club, Walmart’s membership-only rival to Costco Wholesale.
On its website, Walmart described the safety of its staff and customers as its “top priority.” The company also said that it will follow any local or state evacuation mandates.
Update: The number of closures mentioned in the article was reduced, because some stores in Texas have been reopened.