Produce shelves lie empty at the Save-On-Foods grocery store in Revelstoke, B.C. Image: Rob Murphy/Handout via ReutersProduce shelves lie empty at the Save-On-Foods grocery store in Revelstoke, B.C. Image: Rob Murphy/Handout via Reuters

Reuters - Shoppers in B.C. have emptied grocery shelves following devastating flooding in the province, but industry associations say the shortages are as much down to panic buying as disrupted supply chains.

Images of empty shelves and refrigerators in grocery stores are reminiscent of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, as shoppers scrambled to stock up. Photos of one store's produce section showed nothing left but lemons, limes and cranberries.

Save-On-Foods appealed to customers to avoid hoarding.

"We understand that this is a very stressful and challenging time for many of our communities," the company said on Twitter. "Please - buy only what your family needs at this time."

A police car escorted a convoy of four Save-On-Foods delivery vans through a roadblock on Highway 7, which was hit by mudslides during the storm, to reach the stranded town of Hope on Thursday afternoon, according to a Reuters witness.

Some three-quarters of B.C.'s milk production was stranded for several days, amounting to a few million litres that farmers had to dump, said Holger Schwichtenberg, chair of the BC Dairy Association.

Collections are now resuming, but the region will see a temporary milk shortage before it can access supplies from other regions or provinces, he added.

Read the full story here.

 

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