East Texans fuel rise in generator sales

With the region’s most recent power outages, stores and companies are seeing a spike in generator sales.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:00 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - With the region’s most recent power outages, stores and companies are seeing a spike in generator sales.

Generators are becoming more common as East Texans are adapting to the conditions. Going back to 2020, more people started working from home due to the pandemic. Then, the snow storm in February 2021 left more than 4.5 million Texas homes and businesses without power for several days.

With this year’s ice storm, more than 300,000 outages were reported across the state, and more than 40,000 of those were in east Texas.

“I would say from 2021 to now, I would bet we’ve had a 300 percent increase in sales,” said John Crymes, owner and operator of East Texas Generators.

He said more customers are wanting security now that generators are more accessible.

“Thirty years ago, you saw them at maybe hospitals having backup power, maybe police stations. But now, it’s available for a small home. You know, we can have automatic backup power within 20 seconds,” Crymes said.

Whitehouse resident Alfredo Llave bought a generator two years ago. He was concerned about power, as he lives outside of the city.

“We decided to buy a generator just in case, with the weather, like tornado season. We are ready to have power in case the power in the city comes off,” Llave said.

Tom Sorrels of Tyler bought one last May after experiencing many outages in the last few years.

“Well, ‘snowmaggedon,’ we had no power for 10 days. The storm, straight-line winds in April of 2021, had no power for five days. So, you can see I’m getting to be older. I’m too old for this stuff,” Sorrels said.

Nace Heard, from Tyler, bought one last August. Heard uses a CPAP machine and wanted to stay proactive in case outages occur.

“It’s a medical device. If you don’t have electricity, you’re out of luck. I’m getting older. I wanted my family to be comfortable,” Heard said.

Crymes said many will call after the storm hits.

“Get it before the storm season,” Crymes said. “We’re kind of in the middle of going out of winter, but spring season will hit in late April through May, and it’d be a good time to go ahead and try to get in line.”

Emergency preparation supplies, including generators, can be purchased tax free from April 22 to 24.

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