Arkansas residents flock to stores in search of heat, light sources : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Local residents flock to stores in search of heat, light sources


News-Times Staff

If it could supply heat or light, it was hard to find in El Dorado Thursday. After a day without electricity, residents flocked to grocery and hardware stores to seek temporary conveniences once taken for granted.

Those who had ample kerosene, kerosene-powered products or plenty of batteries in the past couple of days should consider themselves lucky. Those items were in short supply Thursday morning. Local merchants put in emergency orders for such items as lamps and lamp oil.

Timmins Hardware was close to selling out of lamp oil and lamps Thursday. One employee said he had one bottle of scented lamp oil left that he was trying hard to sell. The store was in short supply of any appliance that could run without electricity, such as coffee makers and cooking appliances. Employees said they expect to receive an emergency truck load of lamp oil and other needed items today.

A look around certain departments of Wal-Mart Supercenter produced the same basic findings - low supplies in lamps and lamp oil. There was one kerosene grill left and a handful of kerosene lanterns remaining as of Thursday morning. One Wal-Mart customer said he had a hard time finding batteries Wednesday night, leaving him in the dark. The store did have plenty of AA batteries, but it seemed the larger the battery, the less they had.

The staff at Van's Hardware was out of all of those products, too. They planned to make a run to Texarkana to get more oil and lanterns, just in case the demand continues. Basically, anything that could supply heat or power was sold out at Van's and other stores.

Brookshire's on South West Avenue was running low on the large types of batteries, but it too had plenty of AA and AAA batteries available. Bottled water was also available, some at special prices. Residents should be able to find more lighting and heating appliances in town today, if needed.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 15, 2000

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