Business owners, residents continue to struggle without power after Friday’s storm

Posted at 10:08 PM, Jul 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-08 22:51:08-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.-- Many residents and business owners are still in the dark Saturday night after Friday morning's storm. They're in the dark in more ways that one: some don't know when their power will come back.

Hotels and motels that have power are completely packed, while others without power are giving guests refunds. Business owners say they're losing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and products and are forced to throw out food. They say it's the waiting that's the most frustrating.

"Here's the ice cream, half gallons and here's the novelty ice cream, all gone," said Cheryl Morse, owner of Ernie's Lil' Market in Marne. "It's mush. It's no good."

Entire freezers of food at Ernie's Lil' Market are gone.

"The only thing I can keep in this cooler is the water," said Morse.

That's what Cheryl Morse is dealing with at her store in Marne.

"It's a ghost town," said Morse. "We have nothing."

Morse lost power at the store early Friday morning and is hearing it might not come back until Monday.

"I'm working out of my pocket," said Morse and she pulls a pile of cash out of her pocket. "I'm going to have hell to straighten out which money goes where to do my taxes, to put the beer, the liquor and the pop into categories, but I'm still afloat."

Other business owners are in the same boat. Lisa Rodriguez hasn't had power or running water at the Courtesy Motel near Grand Haven for days.

"I went and got some candles from Walmart down the road so guests can have a little bit of lighting in the room," said Lisa Rodriguez, owner of the Courtesy Motel. "We don't get power back till possibly tomorrow or Monday."

Some guests were forced to leave a day early, including a group of fishermen in town from Indiana for the weekend.

"It's been hard," said fisherman Dave Myers. "There's no running water, no showers, the gas station doesn't have power so you can't get Subway."

"Whatever we brought, we ate," said fisherman Keith Moon.

While crews work around the area, the waiting game continues.

"We're just waiting," said Rodriguez. "Everybody's been a trooper."

"I feel sorry for these guys because they're saying Monday for power and everything in their fridge is going to be shot," said Myers. "There's no ice in town. We stopped to get ice this morning and there was none."

Fox 17 will continue to monitor the progress as the cleanup efforts continue.