Ann Mayo, left, and Ann Welch, both of Rumford, reach for some disinfecting wipes waiting to be stocked Saturday morning at the Family Dollar store in Mexico. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — People lined up outside Family Dollar before the 8 a.m. opening Saturday, hoping to get supplies while acknowledging the spread of COVID-19 virus will probably get worse.

Asked if they were there to get toilet tissue, the answer was “Yup.”

“Isn’t it crazy?” Jenn Blodgett of Mexico asked. “I’ve got five kids at home. I have three rolls of toilet paper. I can’t find any anywhere. I just need mine to get through my normal week.”

Assistant Manager Joe Waters told customers the store was limiting sales to one large package of toilet paper, or two small packages per customer. He said a new supply arrived overnight and he was expecting a run Saturday.

In response to the run on toilet tissue, in part, due to students being home from school for several weeks, Roland M. Arsenault, superintendent for the Rumford-Mexico Sewerage District, advised residents not to flush wipes and paper towels because they can create blockages at the wastewater treatment plant.

“Please be considerate to your neighbors and surrounding communities by using a safe alternative to toilet paper such as reusable cloth towels that can be laundered,” Arsenault wrote. “Let us all work together to minimize health risks in the community not only for the COVID-19 outbreak, but for all viruses of potential impact to our communities.”

Jenn Blodgett of Mexico purchases toilet paper and tissues Saturday morning at Family Dollar in Mexico as Assistant Manager Joe Waters operates the checkout. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times Buy this Photo


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