Panic-shopping at Food 4 Less Highland Park

Panic shopping at at the Food 4 Less in Highland Park on Friday, March 13.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Police Department urged Angelenos to not panic-shop for food and other supplies and said the city's water supply is clean and safe to drink.

"There is no food shortage & stores will restock, so please don’t hoard," said the LAPD on Twitter. "The water supply is clean & safe to drink, so there’s no need to buy water in bulk. We are in this together."

Garcetti tweeted: "This is about preparation and prevention, not panic." No need to hoard excess items. There is no food shortage and stores will restock No need to purchase bottled water. @LADWP water is clean and safe".

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Meanwhile, grocery stores ramped up efforts to resupply their stores with merchandise overnight, after a rash of stockpiling caused long lines and, eventually, empty shelves at many Southland supermarkets.

Ralphs cut its store hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to give employees more time to restock shelves.

Walmart said its stores and neighborhood markets would be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. starting Sunday until further notice. "This will help ensure associates can clean and stock products," the company said.

Reduced hours sign at Echo Park vons

Signs at the Echo Park Vons notify customers of shorter hours and shortages.

Monrovia-based Trader Joe's said that beginning Monday and until further notice, all its stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. "to support our crew members in taking care of one another and our customers."

"We are closely monitoring the situation, and regularly providing all of our stores and crew members with the most up-to-date safety guidance, as recommended by the CDC and other health officials," the company said on its website.

A message on the homepage of Food4Less -- which like Ralphs is owned by the Kroger Co. -- says "Due to increased demand, you may experience longer lead times, delayed deliveries, and limited inventory. Our associates are working around the clock to ensure our pickup, delivery, ship, and in-store services are open and available for you."

Food4Less issued the following statement later Sunday:

"In some areas, we are adjusting store operating hours based on local circumstances. We will continue to make decisions that allow us to operate clean, open and stocked stores to serve our customers and support our associates."

No changes to hours were immediately announced for the Southland Food4Less stores.

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