Grocery stores, gas stations feel effects
WORTHINGTON -- As rolling blackouts continued in Worthington Wednesday, businesses carried on as best they could.
"Life has been pretty good here since we're getting rotating power and with the generator," said Mike Haiar, Worthington Hy-Vee Manager.
Haiar explained that Hy-Vee's generator "kicks in on off-times." However, it only runs basic utilities -- lights, meters, registers, etc.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Hy-Vee was able to keep frozen and refrigerated food within a safe temperature range.
"As long we continue receiving power, we'll stay fine," Haiar said. "Our only concern is if we lose power for a long time."
While Hy-Vee saw a 50 percent increase in customers on Wednesday, Haiar anticipated business to be much slower today.
"In reality, storms don't benefit anyone," he said. "When you have an increase, you know you'll pay for it tomorrow."
Haiar said Hy-Vee ultimately plans to continue excellent customer service, regardless of the weather.
"We're going to do our best to remain open and keep full of products and take care of our customers," he said. "Hopefully, we won't have the electricity go out."
Local representatives from Fareway and Wal-Mart declined comment, but a Wal-Mart assistant manager did say the storm would not affect its hours.
The rolling blackouts have also taken a toll on gas stations.
At the Hy-Vee gas station, an employee who asked not to be identified said their pumps had been shutting off without notice.
"The cars are two to three deep when (the pumps) are running. Then it slows down for a while and then all the sudden they are shut off again," he said.
The Cenex station in Sibley, Iowa, located just off Iowa 60 was also without power for about six hours starting Tuesday night, "but we got it back on by 3:30 p.m. (Wednesday)," said Cenex General Manager Brian Dreessen.
The power outage had little effect on Cenex's business, as it was able to direct customers to the downtown Cenex station that was unaffected by the power outage.
Dreessen said the only other Cenex station that had problems is the Worthington location, which was also suffering from the rolling blackouts.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.