Mass crowds rush to local stores to stockpile goods amid coronavirus concerns
LOS ANGELES - President Trump's address to the nation Wednesday about U.S. efforts to control the coronavirus spread was supposed to calm the public. Instead, crowds rushed to local stores looking to stockpile thinks like soup, paper towels, and toilet paper.
Hundreds of people stood in line outside a Costco in Santa Clarita early Thursday morning waiting for the store to open. Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley station came out to control the crowds after receiving reports of fights breaking out and shoppers calling 911 to report people were cutting in line.
"Please don’t call 911 because people are cutting in front of you in line at the store. It ties up valuable resources for real emergencies!," tweeted the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's station.
"I was over there so I couldn't really see, but there were people arguing already here...that's why I guess the cops came," said one Costco shopper.
In the end, deputies did not find evidence of fights among the shoppers.
Shoppers looking to stockpile toilet paper and paper towels found it wasn't as easy as they thought.
"I didn't get the paper towel, the toilet paper, they're out," said Costco shopper Yasser Farrag. "This is important. I have to go to different stores."
It's a scene repeated all over the country.
In Santa Clarita, customers who arrived at Costco around noon benefitted from a morning delivery. However, within minutes, the shelves were once again empty.
And it's not just at Costco -- nearby stores like a local CVS continue seeing empty shelves, no toilet paper, no immunity support supplements, and limited paper towels. At Ralphs, more empty shelves or limited stock for things like Ramen and canned soup.
"We haven't found any toilet paper. We haven't found any water. We've been to Walmart, we've been to Sam's Club, and we haven't been able to find any," said shopper Tammy Marks.