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Businesses continue to feel impact of blackout

It’s a busy day at the Hickory in Rexburg. People crowd in to enjoy their famed country fried steak or turkey sandwiches..

But there were no steaks or sandwiches Wednesday when the Hickory lost power for six hours.

“I guess it went off at 4:30 in the morning here and we didn’t get it back until about 11,” said Cathy Haws, the Hickory’s owner.

Even then, the Hickory couldn’t open right away.

“We have to do prep work, of course, get our grills up and running and warm, so we usually have two hours to do that,” said Haws.

This left kitchen staff scrambling and customers waiting.

“We tried to crunch it out and get it done, you know, faster, of course, so we could get it open. We did have people waiting that are used to us opening at 11,” said Haws.

Luckily, they didn’t have to throw anything out, which they’ve had to do in previous blackouts.

“We kept the coolers closed, and so we were able to keep everything cold,” Haws said.

Across town, Gringo’s Mexican Restaurant was one of a handful businesses that didn’t lose power.

“We were open. Our power was not affected,” said Robert Ricks, Gringo’s owner.

But that didn’t do anything to bolster business.

“I don’t think people knew we were open, and so most people were staying home. That’s what the police were saying to stay home if they didn’t have power,” Ricks said.

Each year, it’s estimated the U.S. economy loses between $18 billion and $30 billion as a result of severe weather-related outages.

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