Home Depot, Lowe’s Look to Reopen Stores Closed by Gustav

New York City The Home Depot Inc. said Tuesday that more than half of its stores closed along the Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Gustav will reopen by midday.

The home-improvement chain closed 31 stores at the height of the storm, but expects 17 to reopen by noon on Tuesday, although some will run on backup generators until power can be restored.

Meanwhile, the company said it had sent more than 115 truckloads of generators to the region in the past week. A dozen trucks—full of cleanup material such as chain saws, bleach, brooms and tarps—were parked in Home Depot parking lots so customers could have easy access to the supplies and hundreds more were stationed in or near the region.

Lowe's Cos. said 29 stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas were closed Tuesday as teams of workers assessed the damage inside.

Some of the stores, which closed because of mandatory evacuations in the area, would reopen later in the day, said Chris Ahern, a spokeswoman for the chain.

"We're just trying to get into the stores to check out the situation and get them open as quickly as possible," said Ahern.