Officials blame unnecessary panic for long lines, empty shelves

Retailers advising customers not to panic, shelves will be restocked

Long lines, empty shelves at San Antonio-area H-E-B
Long lines, empty shelves at San Antonio-area H-E-B (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Customers are finding increasingly long lines and empty shelves at many San Antonio-area grocery and wholesale stores like H-E-B and Costco amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While H-E-B is encouraging customers not to panic, it has not done much to deter the public from emptying shelves, causing stores to put purchase limits on certain items.

H-E-B closing all stores early to allow time to restock shelves, no need to panic, officials say

“It took about 20 minutes to get through the line just to get into the store. Then when I finally made it inside, I was shocked to see that so much was already gone. No toilet paper, no milk, no eggs, scarce on the meat, all by 9 a.m,” a woman, who did not want to be identified, told KSAT on Saturday morning.

Empty shelves at H-E-B (KSAT)

H-E-B is adapting store hours in response to the massive increase of shoppers in an effort to better restock the shelves.

“The store was restocking as we were shopping, so I have no doubt those items will be available at a later time. It’s just crazy how much people are buying at once,” the woman said.

HEB says don’t panic, limits some purchases, restocking daily

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday that certain state trucking regulations will be temporarily waived in an effort to help stores restock shelves even faster.

“Suspending these state trucking regulations will improve our ability to deliver the necessary supplies throughout the state so that grocers and retailers are able to continually stock their shelves,” Abbott said in a news release.

Another viewer sent a video of people waiting in line outside a San Antonio-area Costco before the wholesale retailer opened Saturday morning.

Officials blame unnecessary panic for long lines, empty shelves
Officials blame unnecessary panic for long lines, empty shelves

“It’s just crazy how much people are buying at once. I have a 10-year-old and a 19-month-old and luckily I was able to get food for them,” the woman told KSAT.

H-E-B putting purchase limits on some items to ‘protect the supply chain’

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

KSAT CORONAVIRUS CONTINUING COVERAGE:

· Drive-through COVID-19 testing is now in San Antonio. Here’s what we know.

· These events have been canceled, postponed, modified around San Antonio area over coronavirus

· Track live coronavirus updates with real-time map of confirmed cases, deaths

· How San Antonians, local organizations are uniting to help those affected by the coronavirus

· The ultimate coronavirus guide: From preparedness and prevention to testing and treatment

· SAQ: Your questions answered about the coronavirus

· How San Antonio is responding to first travel-related coronavirus case in San Antonio

· Texas Gov. Abbott declares statewide emergency over coronavirus pandemic

· Here’s what President Trump’s coronavirus emergency declaration does

· What we know: San Antonio tourism hotspots impacted by the coronavirus


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.