New Mexicans make mad dash to stores, stock up

Coronavirus New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexicans are going out in droves to stockpile household items. From toilet paper to Purell, and even meat, stores across our area are running out of a lot of products.

At stores around town, frozen food aisles are nearly empty. Bread is hard to come by. Meat is scarce. Non-perishables like rice, pasta and canned goods are ending up in everyone’s shopping carts.

“I stopped by to buy a certain kind of bread which they are out of,” Leslie, a shopper in Albuquerque said. “Every single thing I wanted, they were out of.”

People were lined up outside Costco on Eubank before 8 a.m. In some stores, people have been fighting over cases of water.

Video has been circulating online of the Walmart last night at Rio Bravo and Coors. People were grabbing cases of water set up in a display.

“It’s not a famine,” Leslie said. “Like what is going on here? I was scared. It felt like the apocalypse.”

“It is a little bit of madness,” another shopper added.

Friday, inside the Costco on Eubank, a viewer sent a video of not only one but two lines. The first one started at the front of the store, wrapped through the clothes, and up to the registers. The second line started in the back and spanned the entire length of the store.

“Whatever my husband didn’t get at Walmart we ended up getting at Target. I actually went a couple of days ago to get toilet paper cause apparently everybody needs toilet paper,” said Aubrey Gonzales who was shopping at Target.

People who were doing their regular shopping Friday afternoon said they can’t believe the crowds.

“I am thinking they know something I don’t,” Leslie said. “This is not the end of the world.”

The Silver Street Market downtown has been seeing sales increase for toilet paper, Lysol and canned goods. The owner says the pallet they got in this morning of toilet paper is already cleared out.

“I urge everyone to just get what you need, don’t go overboard, just within reason, get what you need for yourself, for your family members and there’s not a good reason to over purchase for anything,” said Kelly Ortman the owner.

At Costco, we were told they will be getting a new shipment of toilet paper this evening. Come Saturday morning they will be giving around 200 tickets to people for toilet paper and you will collect it on the way out.

The Water Authority says it’s highly unlikely we would have water outages, so they say there is no need to rush out and buy bottled water.

The city said right now, stocking up on supplies for several weeks or even months at a time is not necessary.

“It really is important for people to be thoughtful in what they are purchasing right now because stocking up for the long term is not necessarily going to improve their own preparedness,” Environmental Health Director Ryan Mast said. “All they are doing is taking that resource away from someone who may need it.”

The city said people should only buy what they need right now and is encouraging stores to sell limited quantities to customers.

The Environmental Health Department said stores will continue to remain open and restock daily, so there is no need to panic.

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