ATLANTA—Tropical Storm Cristobal will be a threat to the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend, emerging into the Gulf of Mexico late tonight, Weather.com reports. The storm will bring heavy rain and high surf along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas tomorrow and could affect retailers in the storm’s wake.
Cristobal’s northward track over the Gulf of Mexico is expected to bring the storm’s center ashore along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast Sunday night to early Monday, most likely along the Louisiana coast, according to Weather.com.
Cristobal produced torrential rains and life-threatening floods and mudslides in Central America and Mexico. The storm is the record-earliest-in-season third named Atlantic storm, beating Tropical Storm Colin in 2016 by three days.
Fortunately, “Cristobal’s intensity forecast will be held in check by a number of factors,” Weather.com said; however, the storm will bring a lot of rain. The National Weather Service issued flood watches from Louisiana to Florida.
Convenience stores in the storm’s path should prepare now, especially in case of evacuations. “Even if your store isn’t in an evacuation zone, your employees might be in the evacuation zone and will be unable to come to work,” Craig Fugate, former administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told NACS Daily. “That could impact your ability to operate safely and serve your community.”
For more information about this year’s hurricane season and how to prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters, see the NACS Convenience Store Emergency Planning and Job Aid resources. Additionally, fuel retailers may visit the NACS Fuels Resource Center, which provides insights into how hurricanes and other storms may cause supply disruptions as well as how to handle them in order to satisfy consumer needs.