Hardware Stores Busy After Storm

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BENTON -- Thousands of people are still without power in parts of our area. For some, that means running a generator and buying supplies to keep that generator running.

Even though the Benton area only got a dusting of snow on Friday, hundreds of homes and businesses still lost power. Trees fell like dominoes in some parts of Columbia County, taking power lines with them.

Donald Hess of Benton Township has been without power since Friday morning.

"We just got updated 10 minutes ago. Noon tomorrow is what we're hearing. Yes, very frustrating," Hess said.

Hess stopped by LMK Mills True Value hardware store in Benton for some electrical parts as well as gasoline for his generator.

"Keep the house warm and keep the house running, basically," Hess said.

He wasn't the only one. Store Manager Jake Butler tells Newswatch 16 the store was packed on Saturday.

"The first 50 people through the door were here to buy gas cans, lamp oil, and propane fuel," Butler said.

According to Butler, the biggest sellers were kerosene heaters. While the store did not sell many generators over the weekend, employees sold a lot of generator parts.

"My wife is on oxygen, of all things. We have to keep the oxygen generator running for her, keep things moving along," Hess said.

"We generally try to keep a large supply of gas cans. We have generators and heaters just for such an occasion like that," Butler said.

Butler tells Newswatch 16 he also sold a lot of extension cords, batteries, and chainsaw supplies.

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