Plattsburgh, home of GP toilet paper mill, faces localized tissue hoarding

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:30 PM EDT
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If you've been to nearly any box store or local supermarket, you most likely have seen some empty shelves. The coronavirus is triggering hoarding of products like hand soap, paper towels and even toilet paper.

Aisle 5 is the place to be at the local grocery store in Malone, New York, for people looking to stock up on the essentials

"It's kind of got everyone worried I think, walking on pins and needles," said local resident Darlene Tucker. "I can't blame them. If it's as bad as they say it is. I don't want to see it firsthand though."

Stores nationwide are seeing shortages on their shelves. Fourteen days is a long time to be cooped up in your home for a possible self-quarantine. The CDC recommends you have enough food, water, medication and personal hygiene needs, and the public appears to be taking that to heart.

"I would be very nervous about that," said Susan Clenney of Plattsburgh.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the North Country, but local residents want to be ready for when it shows up.

Employees at Yando's Big M grocery store in Plattsburgh say that customers have been calling in before coming in to make sure they have have the items they're looking for in stock -- hand sanitizer, soap, and most recently, toilet paper.

"Yup, that too. Always got to have that," Clenney said.

While there was still some on the shelves at Big M Wednesday, TP has become more scarce in other stores. "I don't know what's up with that," Tucker said.

While TP may be in shot supply in some stores, there's no shortage at the nearby Georgia Pacific mill in Plattsburgh where its produced. A spokesperson with the company says they are working to keep up with the demand, but that it needs to go through the proper distribution centers.

Meanwhile, shoppers like Clenney say they're hoping all this hoarding is for a future self-quarantine that never comes. "Hopefully it's not really going to hit Plattsburgh that hard," she said.