James Ison knew Thursday that he was in for a few long days.
Once he felt the storms blow through early in the morning and heard about the widespread power outages, the assistant manager at the Bloomfield Township anticipated his staff would be getting a lot of calls.
Early on, the demand was mostly from residents or landscaping contractors in need of chainsaws, chippers, and other yard tools people need to deal with the dozens of trees authorities said were downed by high winds. But as searing temperatures started to rise as the day moved on, the focus turned to the store's air conditioners and power generators.
By noon, Ison said all the store's AC units were gone and just five generators remained. And those didn't last long.
"From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the phones were just lit up with calls, and they were all about generators," Sholanda, a Lowe's associate, told Ison as he started the afternoon shift. "People aren't getting here fast enough."
The timeline coincided with news that . Most are coping, either with their own power generators, or taking refuge at places like the Bloomfield Township Library. Temperatures continued to surge toward and above 100 degrees Friday, for the fifth consecutive day.
"With this continued heatwave and people being told it's going to be awhile, it's no surprise we're seeing a demand for water, large coolers and other things people need for lon periods of time," Ison said.
Although more generators are on priority order, Ison said the closest Lowe's with generators were in Toledo and Lansing late Thursday.
Relief in sight?
According to DTE Energy's website, these neighborhoods are still offline as of 11 p.m. Friday:
- 42 customers in the Keego Harbor zip code 48320
- 1,056 in the West Bloomfield zip code 48322
- 339 in the West Bloomfield zip code 48323
- 204 in the West Bloomfield zip code 48324
- 1 in the West Bloomfield zip code 48325
Here are public buildings where you can temporarily escape the heat:
- will offer water and ice for 24 hours from Thursday night, at 8 p.m. to Sunday. Fire Station 5 is at 5425 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield.
- will offer water and ice and is open 24 hours, starting at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Fire Station 1 is at at 4601 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield.
- will offer a cooling station, water, and ice from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The JCC is at 6600 W. Maple Rd., West Bloomfield.
Patch local editor Tim Rath contributed to this report.