Less than two days after Hurricane Ian prompted the closing and modifying of hours for nearly 200 stores along the Gulf Coast, Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets has announced it is beginning to reopen some of them.
“We continue to assess the impacts of Hurricane Ian on our operating area,” said Publix spokesperson Hannah Herring in a statement. “We are working to reopen stores as it becomes safe to do so.”
Herring said the supermarket chain has since “made the decision to reopen some stores in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Lake, Hernando, Manatee and Osceola Counties.”
Meanwhile, among the stores in the hurricane battered areas Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Venice and Sarasota, 14 are closed indefinitely.
Herring’s statement went on to advise individual store hours will vary, and encouraged customers to visit www.publix.com/storm for the most up-to-date information regarding store status.
The grocer also posted a map to its website showing the closures at https://www.publix.com/pages/publix-storm-basics/publix-store-status. The resource provides the most up-to-date information on changes to store hours.
The webpage was last updated at 5:50 p.m. Thursday.
Hurricane Ian: Polk County begins assessing damage from Hurricane Ian
“As always, our priority remains on the safety of our associates, customers and communities we serve,” Herring said, “and part of that means ensuring access to food, water and other essential items to restock pantries.”
Privately held Publix Super Markets Inc. is considered to be the largest employee-owned U.S. corporation.
It runs 1,305 stores in seven states with stores under construction in an eighth state, Kentucky. In Florida, Publix operates 837 stores, its website said.
Publix also operates 10 distribution centers, including locations in Lakeland, Sarasota and Orlando.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Hurricane Ian: Publix to reopen some stores in Florida after storm