Coronavirus Update: Nervous shoppers empty store shelves across tri-state

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Nervous shoppers are emptying store shelves across the tri-state area of things such as cleaning products, toilet paper, water -- and even chicken.

The fear is that there is a shortage -- triggering panic in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic

The lines outside Costco from Yonkers to Union, New Jersey, snaked the length of the building with as much as an hour wait.

And once inside, there was yet another line -- it was all to get bottled water.

But if you're looking for perhaps the toughest item to find -- bathroom tissue -- you were out of luck.

It was a trek to find toilet paper. In all, we went to five places over three hours everywhere from suburban supermarkets - like Kings to pharmacies like CVS.

We even hit convenience stores. Still no dice at 7-11.

After waiting at Costco, our last stop, Shop Rite in Millburn, where they're limiting to just two per customer, still had empty shelves.
We were going home empty-handed until we spotted the holy grail stacks of toilet paper -- but made from bamboo.

Manufacturers say the sudden surge in demand will not last and supplies will get replenished.

Ninety percent of toilet paper used here is manufactured in the U.S.

Three of the stories we went to said they expected the shelves to be stocked again by Tuesday when they receive a delivery.

In Yonkers, police directed traffic up Ridge Hill where a trio of stores -- Stew Leonard's, Home Depot and Costco -- awaited the crush of customers with many willing to line up to get in. The chicken breast flew right out of stock in carts before hitting the shelves at Stew's.

The store manager said distribution shortages temporarily crippled inventory on some items like paper towels and toilet paper in short supply.

Local restaurants chains were empty but mom-and-pop shops like Carlo's Restaurant on Tuckahoe Road have no problem getting products like eggs and chicken and kept busy with take-out orders, which peaked as soon as curfews and closures were announced.


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