Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) - One ice store in Detroit has been serving thousands and thousands of customers over the last few days as temps soar and Detroiters scramble for ways to stay cool.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports another 10,000 or more customers are expected Friday at US Ice Co. on 8 Mile Road in Detroit.
Ray Yaldo, the store’s sales manager, said at times the place looked like it had been mobbed. Aside from feeling the effects of extreme heat, Yaldo said most of his customers are also dealing with power outages.
“It’s been hectic. We’ve been having about 5,000 to 10,000 people come a day, coming in and out. They’re buying big bags of ice… and a lot of dry ice right now, because a lot of people have lost power,” said Yaldo.
Robert Brown, the store’s assistant supervisor, said things have been so busy, they actually have to direct traffic in and around their building.
“The traffic is crazy. It’s like rush hour on I-75 or something. It’s crazy here and I’m talking real, real crazy,” Brown said with a laugh. “It’s customers after customers. We’ve got a ton of customers so it’s real, real busy.”
Brown said he’s worked 44 hours over the course of three days, as customers load the business, searching for a way to keep cool.
Detroiter Shareen Pool, who lost power at her home on Monterey Street, was among the many people in line.
“I’ve got basically enough ice for the block. I got regular ice to put in my big cooler for me and my kids, because we love ice water, and then the dry ice, because you don’t want to keep opening the refrigerator or the freezer. So, as long as we have water, we’ll be able to survive. The heat is killing me though because I have central air, I have MS, I hate the heat, I can’t stand the heat, I can’t take the heat,” she said.
Friday’s forecast calls for temperatures to hit or surpass 100 degrees in Detroit. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning, now in effect until 8 p.m. Saturday. (More on the Heat Advisory, here).
Meantime, more than 157,000 customers are still off the power grid. Read more, here.