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Shipments, donations meeting community water needs

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 1:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Immediately after the water main break Thursday in east Wichita, water bottles began flying off the shelves in grocery stores in and around Wichita.

Now Dillons is limiting customers to two cases apiece so their stores can meet practically apocalyptic demand.

KWCH toured the Dillons distribution center to see how they’re handling these unique circumstances. Crews have worked to deliver water to stores, delivering six trailers full in the past day.

“In terms of volume, we do have plenty of water here at our Goddard warehouse,” Dillons spokesperson Sheila Regehr said. “So there is no need to panic. We are in the process now of shipping out those to our store locations in waves so we will have product and more product coming.

“We just encourage everyone to exercise patience and a little kindness. We are doing everything that we can to get that water to our store locations and we appreciate everything our customers are doing as they stand with us.”

Regehr said Dillons has plenty of water, but restocking the shelves to meet demand is challenging.

Dillons isn’t alone in facing challenges. The Kansas Humane Society posted a request for bottled water for its animals Friday on social media. Not long after, the KHS reported it was fully stocked.

“Thank you all so much for helping the animals in need,” read the updated post. “We have secured plenty of clean water. Thank you all for spreading the word and helping animals in need.”

Meanwhile, during a briefing on the subject Friday morning, Wichita mayor Brandon Whipple encouraged Wichitans to not purchase more water than they need.

Please don’t make a run on the store when it comes to bottled water,” Whipple said. “I saw a lot of images last night on Twitter and on Facebook about people hoarding water. There are some folks in our community who can’t boil water or might need bottled water particularly for something above and beyond what maybe we, other folks might need water for.”

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