Some stocking up for Y2K, just in case

December 29, 1999

Y2K shopperBy DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

With 2000 only days away, bottled water, canned goods and paper products were in high demand around Hagerstown Wednesday.

cont. from front page

While some grocery shoppers were at markets on regular shopping trips, others were taking care of some last minute Y2K preparations.

"People are buying water like crazy," Rick McTighe, a manager at the Sam's Club in Hagerstown, said.

McTighe said all Sam's Clubs, including the Hagerstown store, are out of home kerosene heaters although they still have some of the kerosene heaters made for use in garages.


Smithsburg resident Donna Jeter was at Sam's Club Wednesday afternoon pushing a cart full of supplies: toilet paper, paper towels, frozen chicken breasts and chafing dish food warmers.

"I don't think we'll have to use all this stuff ... but better safe than sorry," Jeter said.

"I hope nothing will happen, but (stocking up) is being prudent," said Barbara Fulton, who was with her daughter Ashley at Sam's Club to buy more paper towels and tissues.

Fulton said she already has extra bottled water at home in Halfway, and "I topped my (gas) tanks off last week."

There were no long lines at the gas pumps Wednesday, but Diana Collins, a manager at the AC&T gas station on Wesel Boulevard in Hagerstown, said business has been busier than normal this week, "even for a holiday."

Pat Mills, a door greeter at Sam's Club, said the store has been "about 40 percent" busier than normal this week.

Many people have been stocking up in case computers misread 2000 as 1900, which some fear could cause power outages and other supply problems.

Mills, of Cearfoss, said she had her husband fix up their recreational vehicle so she could still take a shower if the power or water supply are affected by the Y2K bug.

Her list of last minute items to stock up on, which included orange juice, milk and bread, were written on her forearm.

The Food Lion supermarket on Virginia Avenue in Hagerstown has been "busier than usual ... People are buying a lot of water, cocktail sauce, batteries, ice," said Assistant Manager Grant Megargee.

Megargee said he hasn't seen any hoarding so far.

"I don't think they've hit the panic button yet," he said.

Marvin Baer, 44, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said he already has enough canned and other nonperishable food at home to last three weeks.

But he was in Food Lion Wednesday with a long list of canned goods to buy.

"We got all we need at home. This is just in case," Baer said.

"And everything I get we can eat later," he added.

Some shoppers said they were not worried about the coming New Year.

"We're pretty confident Y2K is all hype," said Dennis McGee, who was doing some regular shopping with his wife Diane at Sam's Club.

Mike May, 43, of Hagerstown, was in Food Lion also doing some regular weekly shopping on Wednesday.

May said he wasn't expecting a lot of problems on New Year's.

"I think it's a lot more unneeded worrying than necessary," May said.

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