Loss Of Power Made Business Bleak For Some, Brisk For Others

By Shannon Davidson

(LOUISVILLE, July 14th, 2004, 6:30 p.m.) -- For many, the loss of power meant a loss of business, especially in the Highlands, one of the hardest hit areas in Tuesday night's storms. But the power outages meant a spike in business for others. WAVE 3's Shannon Davidson reports.

Many homes and businesses along Bardstown Road were still without power late Wednesday afternoon, and many restaurants found themselves turning customers like Walt Stern away. "I came all the way from the Knobs to eat lunch, and I guess I'll have to go somewhere else."

Stern was one of many people being turned away from restaurants on Bardstown Road. Meanwhile, the health department stopped by Ditto's and other eateries to tell them what they can keep and what has to go.

Ditto's co-owner Frank Yang says the severe weather has proven costly to business. "Dollarwise, it'll probably cost me anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 a day."

One big problem: too much food and no way to refrigerate it. There is one good thing about getting rid of all that food -- one person's loss was another person's gain. "Our employees will probably have the chance to take lunch and dinner home today," Yang says.

Business was brisk at Carbon Dioxide Sales on Lampton Street, employees couldn't pack boxes of dry ice fast enough for a line of buyers that extended out the door. Dry ice sells for a buck a pound, and over 10,000 pounds of dry ice had been sold before noon.

Several hardware stores were sold out of generators Wednesday, but more were expected from stores across the country. At the Home Depot on Breckenridge Lane, Manager Fred Stahl was counting on a shipment to arrive. "By 5 o'clock it should be here," he said. "I just got off the phone with our buyers."

Karl Wachter was one of the many people out shopping for flashlights and batteries -- as well as paint to finish a job he started before the storm.

Even with $1,000 of meat in his basement fridge going bad, he won't buckle and spend the $499 on a generator. "I'm kind of waiting for LG&E to do their thing," he says.

Ditto's and other businesses were able to reopen around 4 p.m.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever