WACO, TX — A firework shortage across the country is being felt in Central Texas. While the Fourth of July is six days away, many stores are still hoping to make a big boom.
Employees at Mr. W Fireworks said their fireworks stock is all the way to the ceiling and the bins that fill the shelves would be full. Monday, the out-of-stock signs tell a different story.
Terresa Hale, employee at Mr. W Fireworks, said this is her favorite time of the year. She's been selling fireworks at the store for over a decade. In the last 12 years, she's never seen her supply this low.
"Normally we have cases stacked high and we have stuff in storage, but this is all I have," Hale said.
A mixture of nationwide employee shortages and expensive imports has sent prices sky high. In Central Texas, many stores are having to increase prices by at least ten percent. Customers in Killeen tell 25 News, some fireworks have tripled in price.
With business booming like years past, she says at this rate her supply will completely fizzle out well before the holiday.
"On the 3rd of July we were out of everything by 10 on the 4th. So with that in mid, I can't see us going all the way to the 4th," Hale said.
Megan Attaway has worked along side Hale for 11 years and said she loves when the shelves are empty, but this isn't what she means.
"I like when they are empty when we sell out, not because there is a shortage," Attaway said.
As customers make their final decisions, they have some advice for shoppers; Do your shopping early so you're holiday ends with a bang and not a bust.
It's important to remember firework safety guidelines if you choose to participate this year. Use fireworks outside away from houses and cars. Dispose of any used fireworks by soaking them in water.
For more safety tips, click here.