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Beryl disaster throws Houstonians into long lines for essentials

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Open businesses in the Houston area are seeing long lines of people looking for essentials, like groceries, gas, and hot meals.

Cars lined up in the streets outside businesses serving customers on Tuesday.

Susan Balderas waited in line at a gas station at Buffalo Speedway and the Southwest Freeway feeder road. It was the second place she went to fill up her tank.

“I’ve taken my lunchtime today to find gas because in the area I live, a lot of power is still out,” Balderas said. “Gas stations are out. Long lines everywhere.”

James Puckett also waited in line, but he said he had seen worse lines down the street.

Others pulled into parking lots of closed gas stations, looking to fill their tanks and gas cans.

While some turned to restaurants for a hot meal, others looked for open grocery stores.

H-E-B said all of its stores are open during normal business hours. Some may have limited availability on curbside and delivery.

A Kroger spokesperson said all of their stores are open except the following:

  • 9703 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, TX 77433
  • 360 FM 1960 West, Houston, Texas 77090
  • 8000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77380
  • 6767 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77505
  • 2619 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena, TX 77506

According to manager Jeff Bailey, the Kroger location on North Shepherd in The Heights remained open throughout the storm.

He said they lost power during the storm and moved to their backup generator, which partially powers the facility.

Because their power remains out, Bailey said they had to throw out all their frozen and refrigerated foods for safety reasons.

“I’m so proud of our team,” Bailey said. “We’re getting it all put back together, and we’re here to benefit the neighborhood. We’ve got plenty of water, plenty of bread, still plenty of batteries, ice chests, all the essential needs you can think of. Canned goods, ice.”

Lisa New visited the North Shepherd Kroger on Tuesday afternoon. She said she and her family still did not have power and were stressed and thirsty. She had a shopping cart full of juice.

“(Monday) was the most terrifying day of my life,” New said emotionally. “We had huge trees fall down everywhere.”

She hugged Bailey as she shopped and expressed her gratitude for the open store.

“I feel like they have done a fabulous job restocking, and it’s not like COVID where everything is just cleaned out,” New noticed. “I think people are just getting what they need, hoping the power will only be out for a few days and not trying to deplete the store.”