Some Upstate stores see uptick in demand as Hurricane Florence approaches

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Hurricane Florence is several days away, but some people in the Upstate are already making preparations. 

Five out eight stores 7 News contacted in Greenville, Taylors and Greer, S.C. report that they’ve seen an increase in bottled water sales Monday. People have also been calling about generators.

“We’ve seen an increase in customer demand with our generators this morning compared to most normal Mondays,” said Chris Angel who is a store manager at a Greer Lowe’s. 

An employee at a local Sam’s Club also said they’ve also had people calling about generators. 

“Today we’ve been a little bit busier than we normally are on a Monday,” said Jodi Green, who is an assistant store manager at the Red Lion gas station in Greenville. 

Saturday, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that the state’s price gouging law is in effect. 

“We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of food, gasoline, lodging, and other commodities as defined by the statute,” Wilson said in a press release. “By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.”

“If you go down the street a ways and it’s 10, 20 cents more…I would say they’re price gouging,” Green said. 

However, there does not appear to be a reason to worry right now. A few store employees tell me they haven’t seen more people buying goods like bottled water and bread, but many stores are still preparing for higher demand as the week continues. 

A rep from Publix’s corporate office told 7 News area store are in great shape, and they have additional pallets of water being shipped in to continue to meet customers’ needs. 

You can report price gouging to pricegouging@scag.gov or 803-737-3953.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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