I still can't believe it. People are hoarding stuff in Yakima again. It might not even be localized to just Yakima, but I know for a fact that it is at least happening here, for starters.

Water Bottle Shortage at Safeway
Reesha Cosby

I didn't get the memo that we were supposed to be racking up on stocking water bottles. I think the absurd heat wave we just went through probably started it and the unquenching thirst for more water bottles sprang up from there. (See what I did there?)


The first notice I got that people are hoarding water bottles came from the very popular local Facebook group, "WTF Just Happened in Yakima". A group poster posed the question, "Why are people buying so much water at Costco? There’s a huge line for it." As of the time of this writing there are at least 400 comments on her post! You will see some of them below but first let me tell you about what I did next!

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Now, I don't have a Costco membership card anymore (I bought one right before coronavirus reared its nasty old head and never got around to using it and it expired) but I am very familiar with how easy it is to buy things there in bulk. I can only imagine how crazy it was at Costco last year when people were hoarding toilet paper. Were you one of those people? (If so, can you spare a couple double rolls for me? HA!)

After I read that water bottle post in the group, a lingering question has been swimming around in the back of my mind, Are people really hoarding up all the water bottles or was that day at Costco last week just a fluke?


I decided to head out to a local store and investigate this phenomenon for myself. I drove to the Safeway on 16th Ave and Lincoln. I sauntered my way into the water bottle aisle and lo and behold, most of the shelves were completely wiped out. The Customer Service Clerk told me that their store is only receiving one slate of cases per week, thereby creating a demand that cannot be filled by the supply. She said there have been many families coming in purchasing cases of water.

Please note: At the store I went to, I was told that currently there is no limit on how many cases of water bottles you can buy at one time. They said they've seen people coming in buying up entire shelf rows of water bottles once they are stocked on the shelves. I have heard that Costco is now doing a limit of 5 small cases per customer.


I'm putting on my Judgy McJudgerson hat right now to say that people doing this are being extremely greedy. Thankfully, I did not need to buy any water bottles but while I was in the aisle checking out the empty shelves, there was an elderly lady standing before the empty shelves. She said out loud to herself, "Oh no, where is all the water?" I fought back a few tears because she wasn't able to get what she needed because of others' pure selfishness.

On a good note, I did see in the group comments that last week the Lowe's in Yakima/Union Gap (2235 Longfibre Rd) had plenty of water bottles in stock. I also saw that last week Fred Meyer and some Safeway locations were imposing a water gallon limit, too.

Stay hydrated out there, maybe buy a water filter so you can save some of the water bottles for those who truly need it out there in this heat. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.


Since the Facebook group is private, names of the commenters have been removed to protect their privacy.

Drink from the Fire Hose
screenshot WTF Just Happened in Yakima via Facebook
Lower Valley Walmart
screenshot WTF Just Happened in Yakima via Facebook
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screenshot WTF Just Happened in Yakima via Facebook
Lazy People
screenshot WTF Just Happened in Yakima via Facebook
So Much Waste
screenshot WTF Just Happened in Yakima via Facebook

These 10 Other Items Are in Danger of Being Hoarded Next!

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