20 inches of Rain in South Florida causing major flooding as panic buying ensues gas stations run out of supplies

Florida 20 inches rain

Luke 21:25 ““And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves

Important Takeaways:

  • Panic buying causes widespread gas station closures in South Florida
  • More than half of gas stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area were without gasoline Wednesday after flooding from last week’s massive storm caused a wave of panic buying by drivers topping off their gas tanks.
  • “I would estimate that 80% of [station closings] are due to panic buying,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which tracks station closings and gas prices.
  • A storm dumped 20 inches of rain on Fort Lauderdale in just one day last Wednesday, causing widespread flooding and some disruptions to operations at Port Everglades in that city, where a significant portion of gasoline for the region comes through a dozen different gas terminals.

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Macy’s closes more stores this year in another round to stay afloat

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Macy’s to permanently close Its Stores
  • Macy’s will be permanently shuttering several stores in 2023 as part of its Polaris transformation strategy which aims to optimize and reposition its mall and off-mall locations. The first batch of closures will take place in Los Angeles, Colorado, Maryland, and Hawaii. A clearance sale, which will run for approximately eight to 12 weeks, is set to begin this January
  • In February 2020, the department store chain, which includes Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, announced its intention to shutter a fifth of its locations (or 125 stores) as part of a three-year plan. This was followed by several rounds of closures from 2020 to 2022.
  • Managing Director of Global Data, Neil Saunders, addressed the Macy’s store closures… much of the “dead wood” has been cut out. “What we are seeing now is more an opportunistic and gentle pruning,” he explained. He added that more shuttering is likely to follow as the retailer has many sub-optimal stores that will probably perform poorly in the struggling economy.

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Retailers already hit by coronavirus board up as U.S. protests rage

By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Target Corp and Walmart said on Sunday they shuttered stores across the United States as retailers already reeling from closures because of the coronavirus pandemic shut outlets amid protests that included looting in many U.S. cities.

Protests turned violent in places including New York and Chicago following the death in Minneapolis of a black man, George Floyd, seen on video gasping for breath as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

In Los Angeles, protests led to the looting of the Alexander McQueen clothing store on Rodeo Drive, and a Gucci store on the vaunted strip was marked with the graffiti slogan: “Eat the rich,” according to local media reports.

In the nearby Grove Shopping Center, which houses 51 upscale stores, Nordstrom, Ray Ban and Apple were broken into. Nordstrom Inc temporarily closed all its stores on Sunday, it told Reuters in an emailed statement.

“We hope to reopen our doors as soon as possible,” the statement said. “We had impacts at some of them and are in the process of assessing any damage so we can resume serving customers.”

Apple Inc said in an email statement it also had decided to keep a number of its U.S. stores closed on Sunday. The company did not specify how many stores were closed, or if the closures would be extended.

The violence was widespread, and Minnesota-based Target said it was closing or limiting hours at more than 200 stores. It did not specify how long the closures would last.

The company told Reuters it was beginning to board up its Lake Street store in Minneapolis, near where Floyd was killed, for safety and to begin recovery efforts. The company said in a statement that it would plan to reopen the store late this year.

“There is certainly potential for the resulting social unrest to hurt certain businesses like retailers and restaurants, and for it to further dent consumer and business sentiment,” said Robert Phipps, director at Per Stirling. “It is even possible, particularly if the unrest continues and spreads, that it would, all other things being equal, have a significant impact on investor psychology and the markets.”

Walmart closed some stores in Minneapolis and Atlanta after protests Friday, and closed several hundred stores at 5 p.m. on Sunday, a spokesman said. “We’ll look at them each day, and at how each community is impacted and make decisions then,” the spokesman said.

Online retailer Amazon said it was monitoring the situation closely. “In a handful of cities we’ve adjusted routes or scaled back typical delivery operations to ensure the safety of our teams,” the company said in an emailed statement.

U.S. retail sales have posted record declines as the novel coronavirus pandemic kept Americans at home, putting the economy on track for its biggest contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

(Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Additional reporting by Sinead Carew and Ismail Shakil; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Peter Cooney and Diane Craft)

Mnuchin says U.S. economy could open in May, defying experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the American economy could start to reopen for business in May, despite many medical experts saying that closures and social distancing measures will need to stay in place for longer to defeat the coronavirus.

Asked on CNBC whether he thought President Donald Trump could reopen the U.S. economy in May, Mnuchin said, “I do.”

“As soon as the president feels comfortable with the medical issues, we are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business and that they have the liquidity they need to operate the business in the interim.”

U.S. economists have cautioned against bringing large numbers of people back to their workplaces too quickly.

“When the spread of the virus is under control, businesses will reopen, and people will come back to work,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said in Washington on Thursday morning. “There is every reason to believe that the economic rebound, when it comes, can be robust.”

Trump on Wednesday said he hoped to reopen the economy with a “big bang” once the death toll from the virus is on the downslope. He did not give a timeframe for that reopening, but his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday it could take place in four to eight weeks.

Economists have cautioned against bringing large numbers of people back to workplaces too quickly, because that could spark new outbreaks and deal a major setback to recovery efforts.

A paper co-authored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Emil Verner in March about the response to the 1918 flu epidemic found that cities that restricted public gatherings sooner and longer had fewer deaths – and ultimately emerged from that pandemic with stronger economic growth.

Weighing the economy against protecting people from infection or death is a “false tradeoff” he told Reuters in March.

Fed Chair Powell took a more cautious approach to reopening the economy, saying that much depended on the advice of medical experts and the government’s health officials.

But speaking in a Brookings Institution webcast event, he said he welcomed a healthy debate on how and when the economy could be reopened safely.

“We need to have a plan, nationally, for reopening the economy,” Powell said. “While we all want it to happen as quickly as possible, we all want to avoid a false start, where we partially reopen and that results in a spike in coronavirus cases and then we have to go back again to square one.”

(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Jonathan Oatis)