Last week's severe storm that blasted through Brazil caused havoc for just about everyone. Power outages affected more than 8,000 residents, about 75 percent of the city, and lasted up to three days. The outages left many stranded without access to water, the ability to cook and no TV for entertainment.
Local merchants were also affected. While some stores were without power for a day or two, some were lucky enough to have electricity restored in just a couple of hours. They were then besieged with customers requesting survival items.
JoAnn Downing from Pages Food Store said the items most in demand were ice, milk, bread, lunch meat and deli food.
Randy Herbert at Krogers said his customers mostly wanted ice, coolers and drinking water.
CVS manager Dena Brown said they sold out of flashlights, candles and D-size batteries.
Pharmacy tech Cindy Elliott from Lynn's Pharmacy said they had only a slight increase and that was mostly for prescriptions.
Russell Long, Wal-Mart manager, said their demand was for lamp oil, oil-powered lamps, ice coolers, ice, flashlights, batteries, propane fueled lighters and tarps.
Sam's Hardware owner Sam Crawn said he had a large increase in the demand for chainsaws. Also, frequently requested were chains for chainsaws, saw sharpeners, flashlight batteries and lamp oil.
"We restocked Friday," Crawn said. "So we're in good shape now."
Many restaurants were closed due to the power outage. The ones that reopened quickly were inundated with business.
Waitress Stephanie Crabb at Brazil 70 Plaza said the restaurant was filled to capacity with a half-hour wait until nearly 1:30 a.m. Wednesday night.
Spring Garden Family Restaurant on U.S. 40 was without power until 11 p.m. Wednesday. But Thursday and Friday they were packed for all three meals. Manager Debbie Greenwell said she thought they were the only restaurant open downtown except maybe Hardee's. Saturday things were back to normal.
Some residents said they used flashlights and read a book or actually talked and visited with family members.
It will be interesting to see if the birth rate increases next April.