Oklahomans snap up generators before winter storm
With another winter storm looming, Oklahoma City consumers have been snapping up generators faster than retailers can say snow. By mid-morning today, Lowe's on Second Street in Edmond was sold out. Several stores had few left, while others are awaiting emergency shipments.
"We had four this morning, but we sold them all between 8 and 11, said Vickie Atwood, administrative manager of the Ace Hardware at 2119 NW 23. By noon, the store had only the display model, a 5,000-kilowatt generator that retails for $700.
Atwood didn't know about the inventory status at Ace stores metrowide.
"I have no clue," she said. "There's been no chance to even look up." Other customers, she said, are buying snow melt, snow shovels and more.
At Crosslands Rental at NW 29 and Santa Fe, manager Mike Staton estimates he wrote at least 20 tickets for rental generators this morning. He had only two units remaining and expected those to be gone this afternoon.
Larry Hair, general manager of Steve's Wholesale guesses they've sold several hundred units and still have several on stock at the company's six Oklahoma City stores. The widest array is at 8100 S Santa Fe, Hair said.
"Folks are pouring in from everywhere looking at them," he said. Depending on size, generators cost from $350 to $1,000, he said, with the basic 5,000-kilowatt selling for $550 to $600.
By 1 p.m., Central Power Equipment in Warr Acres had only about a dozen generators left, co-owner Chris Montgomery said. Since yesterday, he'd sold 75.
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"It's been a lot of fun; we like it," Montgomery said. "The more weathermen scare people the more we sell."
O'Connor's Lawn and Garden, 2244 NW 140, has exhausted the 100 generators it had in stock yesterday, Sean O'Connor said. But more than 100 customers have prepaid for one of some 650 generators O'Connor is having trucked in from Dallas, Louisiana and Chicago.
He was expecting the truck to arrive at 3 p.m.
"We're trying to get them all here by 10 tomorrow morning," O'Connor said.
Retailers urge generator buyers to read instruction manuals front to back. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, units must remain outdoors. Do not plug units directly into the meter. That can be deadly for utility electricians who may believe the line is dead.