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Merchants prepared as residents begin stocking up for Y2K

By By Sherry Digmon
Got water?
In a recent press release, Gov. Don Siegelman urged Alabamians to stock up on non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries and drinking water in case of Y2K problems.
Anticipating increased demand, local merchants are making sure consumers will be able to get what they want.
There's not a run on canned goods yet, but sales are up at Piggly Wiggly, just over the Florida line.
The most common items in demand are canned tuna, salmon, beef stew, Vienna sausage and potted meat.
Grimes said the potato chip distributor asked him recently if he wanted extra chips for Y2K.
Kmart Manager Randall Shuttlesworth expects the Y2K rush next week.
The store is stocked on items that would be bought in any disaster, such as a hurricane.
It's a good thing. Some stores have been seeing their shelves of water emptied in recent weeks.
Kmart stores started about six months ago planning the items and quantity to be stocked.
Since Kmart now has a pantry, Shuttlesworth is also making sure canned goods are plentiful.
The owners of Diamond Gas plan to have ample gasoline for everyone.
Increasing inventory levels is a common practice during holidays. Diamond has an agreement with the supplier to make sure levels are up this time of year. They don't even have to call. However, White said he did make a special call this time.
Diamond Gas has three stores in Atmore and one in Davisville.