Which Austin-area grocery stores are open during Texas winter storm, power crisis
Update, Feb. 19: As temperatures rise above freezing and road conditions clear up some, here's where some major stores in Central Texas stand Friday. Expect limited stock across the board.
• Central Market on North Lamar Boulevard will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday; the Westgate locations remains closed.
• Many Randalls in the area will close early on Friday, but the hours vary from store to store. For example, the Ben White Boulevard and Research Boulevard stores close at 8 p.m. Call the store in your area for updated hours.
• According to the Walmartwebsite, most of its stores are open until 11 p.m. on Friday. According to the Target website, its stores are open until 10 p.m. Call your local store before you go to confirm.
• Both Wheatsville Co-op locations are open on Friday: 2 to 6 p.m. at Guadalupe Street, 10 a.m. to "TBD" at South Lamar Boulevard. No curbside service.
• Hours at area Whole Foods locations vary on Friday. The East Austin store closes at 6 p.m. and the Gateway store at 6 p.m. According to the website, the downtown and Arbor Trails stores open on Saturday. The Domain store could not be reached.
• H Mart in Cedar Park closes at 10 p.m. on Friday.
Earlier: The empty grocery shelves we saw last March at the start of the coronavirus pandemic were a then-rare glimpse at what had been considered unprecedented demand on food and supplies.
That was until this week's winter storms left the most of Texas in a power and water crisis, creating another extraordinary rush on the state's food supply chain.
Grocery stores haven't had reliable access to power. Slick roads have been a problem for truckers trying to resupply, and shoppers, especially those who have lost power or are now under a boil water order, are increasingly desperate for food and water.
This is a worst-case scenario for grocery stores and supermarkets, which have struggled to keep stores staffed as their own employees deal with a lack of power and transportation.
Earlier in the week, many Central Texas stores closed entirely while the worst of the weather hit the area, but now that the precipitation has waned and people are running low on supplies, stores are slowly reopening, but most with limited hours and long lines to get in or check out.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, nearly every open grocery store had a line out front, including H-E-B and Fiesta. On Thursday, stores were slow to open, most not opening until 10 a.m. or noon. Many already have lines out front.
Here is what we've been able to find about which stores are open and when. Keep in mind that Austin has dozens of small corner markets and international stores, many of which will be open during limited hours but might be a reliable source of food if the shelves at a big box retailer are empty. If you have an tips about more stores that are open with food and emergency supplies, email Addie Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kara Carlson at email@example.com.
• Some H-E-B stores in Austin will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday. The following stores are closed on Thursday: Wells Branch Parkway/FM 1825, Congress Avenue/Oltorf Street, Texas 71/U.S. 290, FM 1431/U.S. 183, U.S. 183/Lakeline Boulevard, Parmer Lane/McNeil Drive, Loop 620/RM 2222, Parmer Lane/Interstate 35, Bee Caves Road/Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway), Riverside Drive/South Pleasant Valley Road, Lamar Boulevard/Rundberg Lane.
• Central Market on North Lamar Boulevard is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. (The Westgate location of Central Market is closed on Thursday and is listed as TBD for Friday.)
• All Austin-area Randalls stores are scheduled to be open during regular hours, but many shoppers have reported that stores are closing as early as 3 p.m. because of power outages or other operational issues.
• Natural Grocers in Georgetown, Cedar Park and North Lamar opened at 10 a.m. this morning. Many of them closed yesterday at 3 p.m. The Arbor Walk location is closed on Thursday.
• Longhorn Meat Market in East Austin is open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday.
• Walmart and Target stores are also open across the city, but shoppers have reported low food supplies at both.
• Whole Foods Market locations in Arbor Trails, the Domain, Gateway, Bee Cave and East Austin are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Whole Foods downtown and in Cedar Park are closed until Friday.
• Sprouts on Menchaca Road and South Lamar Boulevard are closed, but the stores at Great Hills and in Round Rock are open until 4 p.m.
• MT Supermarket on North Lamar Boulevard is open from noon to 6 p.m.
• Desi Brothers on William Cannon in South Austin opens at noon on Thursday.
• H-Mart is open in Cedar Park for regular business hours.
• Ranch 99 on Airport Boulevard is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and expects to have the same hours Friday.
• Wheatsville Food Co-op on South Lamar Boulevard is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the Guadalupe Street location is closed.
• Both Austin locations of Fiesta Mart are open on Thursday with slightly reduced hours. On Wednesday, the stores closed early at 8 p.m. but no official word on when they'll close on Thursday.
• Most Austin-area Walgreens remain closed on Thursday, but stores in Bastrop, Hutto, San Marcos, Pflugerville, Kyle and Lockhart are open, as is an Austin location at Lamar Boulevard and Justin Lane, though a long line was reported.
• Many local CVS stores are also closed or have reduced hours. The company said it has closed 400 stores nationwide, primarily in Texas, due to severe weather and local states of emergency.
"We are closely monitoring the situation to learn when full electrical service is expected to be restored, and will reopen stores when our employees can safely resume our service to local communities," Matt Blanchette, a CVS spokesperson said.
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• Local farmers are reporting widespread crop losses, with some cancelling this week's community-supported agriculture deliveries or pick-ups.
• Some local 7-Eleven stores are open, but many have reduced hours. Those open in Austin include, N 823 Congress until 10 p.m., 1705 S Lakeshore Boulevard, 2330 Guadalupe until about 5 p.m., 2820 South Lamar until supplies run out, and 201 W Ben White until about 6 p.m but it could close sooner if supplies run out.
•Statewide all but two of Buc-ees 38 Texas stations were open as of Tuesday. The exact locations were not known, but most were running on backup generators and had gas. In Central Texas locations include Bastrop, Luling and New Braunfels.
•Chevron said statewide about 250 stations remain closed out of 1,500 Chevron and Texaco stations in the state. In total 600 have reported being down due to power or other issues at some point. It was not known how many in Central Texas remain closed.
"Chevron's network of independent station retailers continue to experience impacts of the winter weather throughout the Texas region," Tyler Kruzich, a Chevron spokesperson said. "Retailers are working expeditiously to ensure adequate fuel supply at their stations and continue to come back online daily."
• Lowe's said the majority of its Texas stores are operating, outside of its Kerrville location which had road closures. Some Texas stores, primarily in the Houston area, are closely early Thursday at 6 p.m. and reopening at 7 a.m. A company spokesperson said the best way for customers to stay up to date of store hours is by searching by zipcode or city for the nearest store at lowes.com/store.
•Home Depot's Austin stores are open with reduced hours Thursday, and plan to open at 8 a.m on Friday. The company initially closed or reduced hours at more than 100 stores nationally, including Texas, but as of now only "a few" are closed and will reopen as soon as possible, a company spokesperson said.