With the snow dumping outside, employees at Shop Smart in Sutherlin were handling transactions with “flashlights, calculators and pencils,” said Clay Firestone, the store’s assistant manager.
Customers were driving to the store from as far away as Yoncalla, and Douglas County residents rushed to restock their shelves during the winter storm.
Firestone was working at Shop Smart on Monday before returning to his temporary position at Ray’s Food Place in Green.
“We’ve got full power,” Firestone said. “For the most part, we’re up and going full steam ahead, more for the community than anything because the snow kind of snuck up on everybody.”
He said most of the trucks are still coming with deliveries, which is great, because the store has been really busy and short-staffed.
Coastal Farm and Ranch was open on Monday, but only until 4:30 p.m. due to staffing issues according to the store’s manager, Kris Riggins. She said the plan for Tuesday was to stay open until normal closing time.
“We are swamped,” Riggins said. “Everyone was caught off-guard.”
She said the store still has shovels, but no “propane, fuel of any kind, or generators.”
Other stores in Douglas County sold out of emergency essentials like fuel and generators as well. The stores that are open, like the Grocery Outlet in Winston, are trying to keep up with the rush of people looking for supplies.
“Yesterday, we closed early so employees could go home to their families,” said Lindie Thiessen, the assistant manager. “We were one of the lucky stores that were able to stay open. We just had power surges.”
She said the store was open at full capacity and didn’t lose any products in the surges. The store closed early on Monday, but she said the plan was to stay open until the normal time of 9 p.m.
Unlike Thiessen’s store, Sherm’s Thunderbird Market did lose some products and had to close off all refrigerators and freezers to prevent further loss.
“We had to throw out some refrigerated stuff in produce because those coolers aren’t very low,” said John Robertson, the store’s manager. “Right now, our freezers are still (closed) because we don’t allow anyone to open them. No freezers, no refrigerators open. We know we are going to lose some stuff, there’s no way around that. I hope it’s not massive.”
He said the store sold out of all the emergency staples like firewood and propane on Monday.
“We’re doing OK,” Costco General Manager Dan Weber said. “I wish we had more generators for people. That was kind of a freaky storm that came through. We lost some produce and stuff like that — we’re low in our fresh areas.”
He said the store lost power for about 29 hours from Sunday to Tuesday so he closed the store, but he was able to help a few people in desperate need get generators. Today, the store is open at full capacity and not expected to close early.
“We had quite a few employees that did come to work and we put them to work,” Weber said. “We have some amazing employees that braved the storm. It was the not-knowing about the power that was a little frustrating.”
People looking for warm, prepared food were limited in options. Subway on Northeast Stephens Street started working on reserve ingredients after selling through a week’s worth of sales in a single day on Monday, according to Roseburg District Manager Tony Sandoval.
“(The rush) started and just wouldn’t stop,” Sandoval said.
Several gas stations throughout Roseburg are closed due to lack of power, but 76 at West Harvard has been open and busy since employee Nathan Babb arrived at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
“We’ve been slammed,” Babb said. “I haven’t had a break since I got here.”
The gas station was closed all day on Monday, and the only clearing for vehicles to get to the pumps came from other vehicles coming through because “we don’t have a shovel,” Babb said.
Other stations opened as of early Monday afternoon, including Chuck’s Texaco at 912 SE Stephens St., the Chevron at 2625 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. — although there is no more premium there — the Texaco at 334 W Harvard Ave. and Shell at 3171 NE Stephens St.
“We are open, we are busy and we still have some fuel left,” Chuck’s Texaco helper Mike Roberts said. “We are still doing good. Once our power came up, we started pumping. Usually, the snow doesn’t stop our trucks. They know how to chain up. As long as we have power, we can pump fuel. We do have a way we can manually pump if there’s an emergency. We don’t like to, but we can.”
Reporter Jon Mitchell contributed to this story.