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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Windstorm in Spokane area sparks run on generators, chainsaws

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 13, 2021

By Thomas Clouse The Spokesman-Review

The windstorm Wednesday that knocked power out to about 100,000 people in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area prompted a run at local power equipment stores as patrons purchased generators and chainsaws to deal with the aftermath.

The storm briefly knocked out power to the General Store and Ace Hardware, 2424 N. Division St., but the problem was rectified and customers came streaming in for all kinds of items, general manager Mark McKee said.

“We sold 10 to 15 generators. But we’ve also sold lanterns, propane, oil lanterns, oil, flashlights and batteries,” he said. “It wasn’t snowstorm busy, but it’s been steady.”

Despite the run, McKee said the store still had 10 or 12 generators on hand at mid-afternoon Wednesday .

“We lost our power this morning for about half hour, then it came back on,” he said. “But since then, things have been running pretty smooth.”

Spokane Power Tool, 801 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., had a big run and moved all of its 20 generators, sales associate Patricia Stone said.

“Yes, we’ve had a lot of business,” she said.

Country Homes Power, 8108 N. Division St., had a big run on chainsaws and also sold out of generators. But it only had a few on hand to begin with, said Gerry Fleming, who is in sales.

“COVID has been keeping our (generator) numbers down. We didn’t have any Honda generators in stock,” he said. “We had some Generac (generators), but they are pretty much all gone.”

However, several customers came in for power tools needed to clear brush and downed trees.

“We sold 15 or 20” chainsaws, Fleming said. “I know our Spokane Valley location has been selling them, too.”

Country Homes owner Garth Selden said electricity remained off midday at the Spokane Valley location, 5323 E. Sprague Ave., which caused more headaches for the north store.

“They don’t have internet. We are actually letting them sell products like chainsaws and generators down there and processing the sales through our north store,” Selden said. “We are having them fax invoices and we are taking credit cards here. So far, so good.”

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