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Store shelves go empty as residents flock to stock supplies due to Coronavirus


SANTA MARIA, Calif.- Local stores are seeing empty shelves and shortages of products as residents flock to stock up on supplies as a reaction to the Coronavirus.

Some shelves are completely empty. Spencer's Fresh Market is out of toilet paper. Clerks are overwhelmed with customers trying to stock up for the Coronavirus epidemic. Store employees said they have never seen such a frenzy.

“The whole row of the aisle is empty, there is no more toilet paper,” said Orcutt resident Tosh Campell.

As the Coronavirus fears rise in Santa Barbara County people are stocking up.

“I'm stocking up on water, hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper just what ever in case they keep us in our house and we can't go anywhere so we have supplies,” said Campell.

Local grocery store Spencer's Fresh Market is low on water, hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies.

“Our family drinks water bottles and we are out and they are nowhere to be found,” local resident Suzanne Rodriguez.

Chain stores like Costco and Walmart are also seeing low supplies and a frenzy of customers trying to stock up.

“We went to a couple of different stores today and the lines were so long,” said Rodriguez.

Locals are going to Spencers in hopes to avoid the long lines.

“A lot of people are coming here as the third or fourth store. They hit the big stores first. Costco and target are all sold out from what I've been told,” said Spencer's Fresh Market store supervisor Jeff Zarling.

The American Red Cross is sending out notifications encouraging people to stock up on food supplies, household items, and if you have small children things like diapers.

“It's just been madness the last few days with people grabbing stuff, once the panic starts, the problem with it is eventually all the more cool-headed rational folks end up following suit,” said Zarling.

The American Red Cross also recommends getting at least a 30 day supply of any prescription medications one needs.

Spencer's says it will be receiving more shipments of supplies tomorrow.
But their warehouse is rationing supplies so other businesses can refill their shelves as well. Spencer's managers aren't sure what they will get stocked back up on yet.

California / Santa Barbara - South County
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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.

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