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Who Wants a Home Generator? While the Power is Out, Everyone.

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Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — With so many people in the Greater Philadelphia still without power, business has been through the roof for portable generators, which are now worth their weight in gold.

At a Sears appliance and hardware store in Norristown (Montgomery County), 79-year-old Joe Barry and the woman he describes as his “lovely first wife,” 76-year-old Dorothy — they’ve been married 53 years — were looking to run a generator from the driveway of their Blue Bell home.

‘Well, I feel like we’re on a camping trip,” Dorothy said today.  “There’s a bit of an adventure to it.”

Three area Sears stores — in Collegeville, Phoenixville, and Norristown — were expecting 160 units by the end of the day, nearly a third of which were pre-sold.

District manager Scott Willis says the models range from about 4,000 to 6,250 watts, selling for $550 to $900.

But regardless of price, some folks are now looking for the additional peace of mind they provide, especially following the widespread power outages from Hurricane Sandy and now this winter storm.

“It works out well for them,” says Sears sales associate Bill Wright.  “The most popular guy on the block is the one with the generator.”

Wright told Joe and Dot a 5,000-watt unit would run their fridge and a space heater — plus, it’s on wheels.

But not everyone is so lucky, Charles Figaniack lost power and is without a generator. He says, ” It means no water because we all have pumps, no electricity, of course no lighting, no stove…”

And he believes help might be days away, “Our lines run through the woods and I guess that’s the hardest thing to deal with.”

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