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Austinites see long waits and low supplies at grocery stores ahead of freezing temperatures

Shoppers wait in line at H-E-B in East Austin Wednesday afternoon. (Andrea Guzman/Austonia)

After spending days without water, heat and other necessities during Winter Storm Uri a year ago, Central Texans are bracing for the worst again.

With tomorrow's expected sleet, freezing temperatures and wind gusts, people flocked to grocery stores, stocking up on goods to last through the severe weather. Although Gov. Greg Abbott has said the state is prepared, skeptical shoppers are preparing for a loss of power anyway.

Austonia staff visited grocery stores Wednesday to see what conditions are like around Austin, and here's what we found:

H-E-B, 1000 East 41st St.

A worker at this store by the University of Texas at Austin said they usually don't see much traffic in the morning, but today, people were waiting outside when doors opened. But shoppers may have a hard time finding some items. The worker added that truck deliveries have been later than usual, arriving two or three hours late from the typical 10 a.m. arrival. Plus, if you're looking to stock up on produce, this store has been low on fruits and vegetables.

Windsor Park resident Jamelik Queen changed her usual shopping schedule in anticipation of freezing temperatures tomorrow, moving up her typical errand a day so she could stay in on Thursday. "I'm definitely concerned," Queen said, referencing the 246 death toll reported by Texas officials from last year's storm. According to other reports, deaths were actually more than 750. While her power stayed on then, she says her power often goes out during the heat, one time even staying off for a week.

Suseth Munoz, from the Rio Grande Valley, is a resident assistant at UT Austin. Early Wednesday afternoon, Munoz was stocking up on canned food and water for herself and to share with others, expressing worry that she'd lose power. During her about 40 minute wait in the check-out line at the E. 41st H-E-B, Munoz said she felt dread about the coming freezing temperatures.

"I'm kind of angry we have to do this, especially when a lot of this could have been avoided if we had tackled the electrical grid when the Texas Legislature was in session," Munoz said. "It's definitely a government failure and it's kind of angering and frustrating."

Walmart, W Slaughter Lane

Lines are longer than usual at this Walmart on Wednesday, but the store appears to have much in stock with some exceptions. On food, there's a chicken shortage and boxed foods like pasta and ramen are running low. Toilet paper is also running on short supply.

H-E-B, 2701 E 7th St.

Shopping at this H-E-B might be a little hectic. Reporter Laura Figi found a line out the door when she stopped by early afternoon Wednesday.

Trader Joe's, 211 Walter Seaholm Dr. 

Food essentials like eggs were in low supply at the Trader Joe's Downtown as of Tuesday night.

H-E-B, 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy.

This H-E-B in Westlake saw empty produce shelves on Tuesday night.


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Kitten shower, Mimosa Fest and crawfish galore: What to do in Austin this weekend

(Carolyn Broussard)

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Tour some of Austin’s diverse creatives as they open their studios. Metal Sculptor Barry George will donate part of his proceeds to the Save Our Springs Alliance.

Starting at 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday | Thornton Road Studios, 2309 Thornton Rd.

🥃 5th annual Texas Whiskey Festival

Sip your way across Texas by tasting more than 100 whiskeys, meet the people from the 36 distilleries who made them and sing along to Piano Punch dueling pianos. Tickets start at $89 and visitors must be 21 to attend.

Starting 6 p.m. Friday or 5:30 p.m. Saturday | Star Hill Ranch, 15000 Hamilton Pool Rd.

🐱 AHS 8th Annual Kitten Shower

The Austin Humane Society is bringing back its 8th annual Kitten Shower, featuring children’s activities, a bake-off competition, kitten yoga, a kitten donation drive and local vendors. Admission is free.

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday | Austin Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane

🌏 CelebrASIA 2022

Celebrating Asian American Pacific American heritage month, CelebrASIA is returning with live music, activities for all ages and local food vendors. The event is free and open to the public.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday | Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd.

🦞 Keep Austin Weird® Twist ‘N Snap Crawfish Boil

Over 10,000 lbs of crawfish—enough to go around—are guaranteed at Fiesta Gardens this weekend, plus extra bites from local restaurants. While you munch, enjoy games; live music from Calder Allen, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Zach Person and more. Tickets start at $14.99.

Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday | Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St.

🍷 Wild World Texas: A Natural Wine & Farmhouse Beer Festival

More than 200 different types of natural wines, beers and fermented foods in a salon-style tasting at Jester King this weekend. Plus, you can gaze at the farm’s goats all the while. Tickets start at $65 and visitors must be 21 to attend.

1-6:30 p.m. Saturday, 12-6:30 p.m. Sunday | Jester King Farm and Brewery, 13187 Fitzhugh Rd.

🍾 Mimosa Fest 2022

Celebrate National Mimosa Day a little early at Mimosa Fest 2022, at this “boozy, bougie, brunchy day party” perfect for the drink’s enthusiasts. Expect live music, food and all the mimosas your heart could desire. Tickets start at $45 and visitors must be 21 to attend.

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday | Fair Market, 1100 E 5th St.

⚾️ Round Rock Express vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers

Catch our local Minor League play against the Oklahoma City Dodgers play at home this week. Tickets start at $10.1:05 p.m. Sunday | Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd.

⚽️ Austin FC vs. Real Salt Lake official watch party

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Kickoff at 8:30 p.m. Sunday | The Pub, 214 W. 4th St. Suite A