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Parking lot full, toilet tissue shelves empty as shoppers stock up

The parking lot was full and the toilet paper shelf empty at Harris Teeter on Friday as people reacting to a potential coronavirus outbreak filled their buggies.

Shoppers apparently fearing they needed to stock up on essentials cleared the shelves of toilet tissue, disinfectant and bottled water as lines stacked up at the checkout counters. The Lightning's spot check of grocery stores in Hendersonville showed some shortages of essentials like toilet tissue and paper towels and larger than usual crowds of shoppers.

Harris Teeter posted a notice at the toilet paper aisle saying that it was rationing bottled water, toilet tissue and cleaning supplies to three items per customer while it waited for resupplies. "Harris Teeter is working tirelessly with its supply partners to source the items you need most," the notice said.

Harris Teeter manager Jim Landoff said the grocer's corporate spokesperson would have to answer questions about the shortages and resupply plans. The spokeswoman did not respond to the Lightning's request for an interview.