Generators In High Demand Due To Storm
by Laura Monteverdi, Reporter
April 10, 2013 5:29 PM
Thick ice and fallen power lines were the reason many areas of the state were without power on Wednesday, leaving it to generators to keep even the street lights on.
The outages also created long lines at local hardware stores like Northern Tool and Equipment on Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls.
“We've probably gotten 150 phone calls, (asking) ‘do you have generators?’” said assistant manager at Northern Tool and Equipment, Cory Boeke.
Employees at Northern said they were sold out of the backup power suppliers by 9:30 Tuesday evening, but luckily they received a shipment early Wednesday morning.
“We got it unloaded and have been running crazy ever since then,” said Boeke.
The store sold nearly 200 generators between 8 and 10:30 on Wednesday morning, with some customers purchasing two power suppliers at a time.
“The generator was $400 something and then with all the other stuff it ended up being over $500,” said
Harrisburg resident, Zechariah Schwenk, lost power early Wednesday morning. The outage sent the new homeowner to the store to purchase his first generator and Schwenk said he feels fortunate that he was even able to find one.
“I first went over to Home Depot and they didn't have any. They're not expected to get some until next week. Here they had some and we were all crowded around them really quickly,” said Schwenk.
With more and more people scrambling to get their hands on generators, Northern employees say safety should be the number one priority.
“Don't use frayed cords, don't use frayed extension cords. If you have to, get some new ones of those. Make sure to use the right cans for your gas when you are filling it up. Just play it safe,” said Boeke.
Northern Tool and Equipment received another shipment of 200 generators Wednesday afternoon.