Fred Meyer stocking up for eclipse demand

The stores will be stocked for the eclipse crowds

CLACKAMAS, Ore. -- At the Fred Meyer distribution center in Clackamas, extra workers are helping load trucks with millions of dollars in additional supplies for stores in the path of the eclipse.

The company has 18 stores directly in the path of totality; eight in Oregon and 10 in Idaho.

The distribution center typically loads 85,000 cases of products per day. This week workers are loading 100,000 and the number could go higher.

It’s similar only to the week before the year’s biggest holidays.

“It’s been crazy,” said Hallie Ballou, the senior supply chain manager for food and general merchandise. “It’s been exciting. Doing a lot of movement in our volume in grocery and water.”

The company is shipping out a million cases of water for stores in the path of the eclipse.

“Lots of water. Lots and lots of water. We've been shipping out water crazy so that everybody has plenty,” said dock foreman Joel Rush.

Ballou added that the distribution center is shipping a lot of sleeping bags, coolers, propane and flashlights.

“This is a high volume day for us,” said John Morehead, the lead supervisor at the distribution center. “It’s organized chaos. That’s the best way to put it. Everything, there’s a computer system that tells everybody what to do, where to go.”

The eclipse is a logistical challenge. The company is sending more trucks more often, trying to stock its stores before the big demand.

“Oh yeah. We think there's going to be a huge demand as we get closer to the weekend that's gonna become a greater and greater demand,” said senior transportation manager Scott Craft.

The company is also bringing in extra gasoline and employees to stock its gas stations in the path.

When asked how much gas a million extra people are going to need, Ballou said, "It’s kind of an unknown. We're just kind of guessing and we've taken statistics... We took our busiest time of the year and times it, times 30.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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