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Midlands residents flock to stores before Irma threat

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Columbia, S.C. (WACH)--As the threat of Hurricane Irma makes its way to the U.S., local Midlands grocers have already begun to feel the rush.

Several grocery stores saw a spike in customers starting Tuesday afternoon, picking up after Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency for South Carolina.

"I came to get some bottled water and it's already gone," said Brock Dillard, who was unsuccessful in his search at the Piggly Wiggly on Devine Street.

They ran out of water around 4 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Also starting to dwindle, bread and canned goods.

"We started picking up after lunch yesterday," said Darrell Miller, owner of the Piggly Wiggly.

But as people gather their typical staples, however, the Richland County Sheriff's Department has put out a list to help people make sure they have the items they need.

They listed the following as some of the items people should be thinking about:

*One gallon of water per person, per day (3 days worth)

*Food (3 days of non-perishables)

*Manual can opener

*Garbage bags for sanitation

*Matches in waterproof container

*Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper (when diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, it can be used as disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household bleach per gallon of water).

*Fire extinguisher

*Cell phone with chargers, inverters

*infant formula and diapers

*pet food

*Books/games for children, and more.

They also advise making a first aid kit, with latex gloves, antacid, tweezers, eyewash solution, antibiotic ointment and more.

Law enforcement also advise to have a family action plan in place and to practice it before a crisis occurs.

If you would like more information on what the RCSD calls "Go Kits", call their Community Action Team at 803-309-5070.

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