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Portable-generator company responds to Harvey

Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey surround homes in Port Arthur, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey surround homes in Port Arthur, Texas, on Thursday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WHITEWATER, Wis. (AP) — Employees at a distribution center for portable generators in southern Wisconsin are putting in overtime to keep up with demands resulting from Hurricane Harvey.

Art Aiello, a spokesman for Generac Power Systems, told The Janesville Gazette the company went into “hurricane-preparedness mode” last week.

“People don’t really understand how dependent they are on electricity,” Aiello said.

Company officials monitor storms so they can be ready to get in touch with retailers in affected areas to assess the local demand for their products, Aiello said.

“We’re always prepared for situations like that affecting east Texas,” he said.

The company’s main distribution center in Whitewater has increased its shipments of portable generators to Texas in anticipation of increased demand after the floodwaters recede there. The portable generators can be filled with gasoline and used immediately.

The company also has sent six service technicians to Texas to repair units — even those that aren’t of the Generac brand, Aiello said. The company offers its repair services for free in disaster zones, but generator dealers and retailers may charge, he said.

Officials at the Whitewater production center say they won’t increase production until after the water goes down.

Aiello said the company also expects to see increased demand for home standby generators, which run on natural gas or liquid propane. Those models are installed next to a house and can help homeowners avoid losing electricity during flooding.

“We don’t wish it upon anybody, but in situations where power goes out, the people here in Whitewater are very proud we’re making products here in Wisconsin that are going to help people across North America,” he said.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. Even in October, people are still calling for generators to be sent to Puerto Rico. Lots of storms has created a need and a shortage.

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