By Mark Getzfred
Independent Staff Writer
Grand Island residents looking to find some order back in their life should find a number of services available throughout the city.
Most grocery stores and lumber company are open and offering equipment to customers. But some stores are without power and don't have frozen foods or fresh meat available. Some grocery stores have a limited supply of fresh fruit available but have taken on an ample supply of drinking water and distilled water.
Bread, ice, lunch meats and canned goods will be available throughout the city at most stores.
The Hinky Dinky Store, 1602 W. Second St., is open for business except for fresh meat and frozen foods, said manager Merlin Kempke. Drinking and distilled water is available.
Although frozen foods won't be sold over the counter, Kempke said customers wanting a large supply of the item could receive it at the grocery. The products have been stored in refrigerated trucks.
"We have whatever is essential for the people," he said.
Virgil Ellis, merchandising manager for Safeway, 1702 W. Second St., said the store has a large supply of fruit drinks, water, ice and some dry ice on hand.
A limited supply of lunch meat is available, he said, but no frozen foods will be placed on the shelf. The store is using alternate generators for a power source.
Bread and fresh fruits are available, Ellis said.
Some 700 bags of ice were sold within minutes at the West Second Safeway store Wednesday night as people rushed to save refrigerated items.
"We're going to have power and we'll try to get the refrigeration on," said Jack and Jill assistant manager Steve Clifton, 1717 W. Second St.
"We do have ice. We got a semi of dry ice," Clifton said. He said the store would sell milk off the truck until refrigeration was restored to the store.
Bread and other products are available but fresh meat won't be available, Clifton said, Lunch meat and cheese and a limited supply of frozen foods are for sale.
"By the end of the day, we should have everything," he said.
Ellis suggested that people buy peanut butter and jelly to eat with bread if they don't have refrigeration. He also said canned meat would be a good item.
The Jack and Jill store at 2121 N. Broadwell and Willman market, 1202 S. Locust St., are closed because of damage. But a spokesman for the Jack and Jill Store said the store may open if electrical power is restored.
Larry Schroeder, manager at the Hinky Dinky, said it would be operating as normal except for a limited supply of fresh fruits and fresh meat.
"My frozen food department is operating," Schroeder said. He said he was trying to order more fresh fruit.
But Schroeder said fresh meat wouldn't be available until he got another generator operating.
The South Locust IGA is open. Skagway is open only to emergency supplies but the pharmacy is open for all customers, said Bill Martin, business manager.
Building supplies and items to add some comfort also are available throughout the city.
Lumber companies report an adequate supply of building materials available.
"We got a very good supply of everything," said Bruce Staley, manager of Spelts-Schutz Lumber.
Sears is offering emergency items to people at its automotive department. Merchandising manager Betsy Porter said the store is selling lanterns, sleeping bags and other equipment into the automotive department because of the loss of electricity.
More supplies are being shipped into the city from Kansas City and Omaha.
"We're going to try to serve the people's needs through the garage," she said.
Don Jelinek, CO-manager at Ace Hardware, said they received a shipment of pumps, camping equipment, gas stoves, propane, flashlights and batteries early Thursday morning.
Spokesman at all of the Grand Island businesses selling building supplies said they would attempt to keep an adequate supply of materials available.
He said he expected another 50 generators late Thursday. The store will be open as late as the curfew would allow, he said.
Chain saws and chains also were shipped in Thursday, Jelinek said.
"I've never seen so many batteries sold," said Zig Placzek, manager of Allen's Hardware. He said Allen's had a good supply of batteries, charcoal and lighter fluid but had a limited supply of Kolman fuel. He said he had ordered more stoves and lanterns.
Generators also were available at Farmers Cooperative Exchange and G.I. Cart and Cycle. Woolco was available to obtain emergency supplies. Kmart and Richman Gordman also were open.
Dick Ashwood, assistant manager at Wheelers, said the store had a good supply of generators and chain saws as well as batteries, nails and plastics for people wanting to board up their homes or businesses.
Ashwood said Wheelers was going through its warehouse to obtain more materials.
Monty Thomas of U-Haul Moving and Storage said 60 trucks will be available at the Kmart parking lot to help tornado victims move their belongings. The trucks area available without charge and the gas will be furnished free. This service is for storm victims.
Some boxes and tape also are available for free. Nebraska and National U-Haul officials will be coming to Grand Island to help provide emergency aid.
Although the Central Nebraska Goodwill Industries Inc. building at 1804 S. Eddy was demolished in the storm, Goodwill is open for business at its retail store at Fourth and Pine.
The store has used clothing for sale as well as other small appliances disaster victims might need.
Island Glass Co., 355 N. Elm, has crews on the streets replacing pane glass. For those who can bring the frames in, the glass can be put in within 24 hours, according to a spokesman for the company. Glass replacement is being done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Watton Glass Co., 312 Elm, have many auto windshields in stock and can get ordered windshields in 24 hours. Auto window glass for side windows aren't immediately available. These take from one and a half hours to two hours to install.
At Superior Glass, 2217 W. Third, extra crews were hired to help install glass and the business also has auto glass available for windshields.
Horizon Communications Vice President George Carr said although 27 miles of television lines are down, 22 miles of the aerial cable is still up and appears to be all right.
As soon as power is restored, technicians will begin checking lines from the West Lincoln tower site out. After feeder lines are functional, service drops will be checked and repaired. Repair could take months, he said.