• Ryan Gagajena

CNN : We had multiple back up plans

Though it only takes an instant for the lights to go out in a storm, things can get darker for days. At Chevy Chase supermarket just outside Washington disaster hit three days after losing power. A refrigerated trailer compressor blew up and with it the family-owned supermarket's back-up plan.





GARY TUCHMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Gary Tuchman in for Fredricka Whitfield. It's a record-breaking heat wave that won't go away. One quarter of the nation suffering through another day of scorching triple digit temperatures. That's dangerously high for anyone, but especially so for people who don't have air conditioning. And that's the situation facing hundreds of thousands of people who lost power during a freak storm a week ago and still don't have it back after all this time. CNN's Emily Schmidt joins us live from Virginia, a state hit hard by the power outages. Emily, this hasn't been just a weather event. It has also been an economic event. Businesses haven't been able to operate, right? EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Gary. It has been such a long week for people. When you see trees like this that toppled and the power lines that came down more than a week ago, it set off a chain reaction so big that the experts, the government and even small businesses, say they just haven't been able to add up the total costs yet. What is clear is that as the power comes back on people are beginning to see just how much they lost. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SCHMIDT: Though it only takes an instant for the lights to go out in a storm, things can get darker for days. At Chevy Chase supermarket just outside Washington disaster hit three days after losing power. A refrigerated trailer compressor blew up and with it the family-owned supermarket's back-up plan. KEVIN KIRSCH, CHEVY CHASE SUPERMARKET: We lost everything in the trailer, then everything in the frozen food case here. So basically we've lost everything in the entire store. SCHMIDT: It meant no customers, no paychecks for 60 employees, and no buying new food. KIRSCH: I've got vendors who are smaller than me that count on me for my purchases for their own business, and I'm not purchasing from them. So it kind of stream rolls all the way around. SCHMIDT: When markets weren't buying for days, it stuck this vendor with a warehouse full of food. Some can be donated. Most, including 2,000 boxes of strawberries, must be tossed. KIRSCH: Most of what is in this cooler is probably going to be thrown out if we cannot move it. SCHMIDT: He estimates he is out hundreds of thousands of dollars. The irony, his business never lost power so insurance won't help. SCOTT BERNHARDT, PLANALYTICS: This is going to be an event that is remembered. SCHMIDT: Scott Bernhardt's company tracks how weather affects business. He says it will take at least a month to know how much this 600 mile storm path cost the economy. BERNHARDT: It ranks in the realm of hurricanes, snow-mageddon type events. These are significant events affecting a very large population. Therefore it has a significant economic impact. SCHMIDT (on camera): Tell me the minute that power came on. What time was it? KIRSCH: I think it was about 11:30. SCHMIDT (voice-over): Ten delivery packed hours later on Thursday morning, the store reopened. The power restored along with something just as critical. KIRSCH: More importantly, everybody is back. That's the most important part. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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