Grocery stores slammed ahead of eclipse weekend: ‘The bananas are gone!’

From the Editor

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Hundreds of shoppers were at Winco in Idaho Falls Monday night. | Ronda Hobbs, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — The bananas are gone, our employee got the last gallon of one percent milk and shoppers were standing in long, long lines at Winco Monday night.

Welcome to “eclipsolypse.”

With seven days until the total solar eclipse, East Idahoans, and out-of-towners, are heeding the warnings and stocking up on the essentials now.

Shoppers waited in long lines to check out at Winco Monday night. | Ronda Hobbs, EastIdahoNews.com.

Officials have warned that there may be food, gasoline and other shortages should half a million people decide to visit east Idaho next Monday.

So our special events director, Ronda Hobbs, joined what seemed like tens of thousands of other shoppers and decided to fill her grocery cart Monday night at Winco.

“The line goes to the back of the store,” Ronda says. “What’s funny is the bananas are gone while the squash is full. Don’t people know that bananas will go bad before the eclipse even happens?”

Apparently not.

Bananas were sold out at Winco Monday night. | Ronda Hobbs, EastIdahoNews.com.

Ronda was able to break through the crowds and grab the last gallon of one percent milk. Now she’s in line, hoping to make it home by midnight.

Several of you have reported similar circumstances at the Ammon and Idaho Falls Walmart stores.

This reminds me of the winters I spent living in Virginia. It rarely snows in Richmond, but every time the “s” word was mentioned, grocery store owners grinned as entire communities showed up and shopped.

Shelves and shelves of bread, butter, cookies, chips, cereal, soda and yes, beer, would empty in a matter of hours.

I can’t count the number of live shots I did for my television station as I stood in bare aisles with nothing left but Fig Newtons.

Then the snow would fall, melt and life would be back to normal within a few days.

Ronda Hobbs and her husband pose with an appropriately titled package of gum. | Ronda Hobbs, EastIdahoNews.com.

I imagine the week will only get crazier and similar scenes will play out at all of our grocery stores.

It’s a good reminder that it’s better to be prepared than be sorry with nothing to eat (and hopefully Winco receives more bananas tomorrow!).

We want to see your photos! If you see long lines, empty shelves or anything out of the ordinary leading up to the eclipse, email news@eastidahonews.com or send a tip through our free mobile app.

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