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Washington store helped many cope with derecho

WASHINGTON — Ace-N-More in Washington helped supply chain saws and generators to those in need after the derecho hit the region Aug. 10.

When the derecho hit southeast Iowa, Ace-N-More lost power at noon and was unable to get it restored until the next day.

The next morning the store opened at 8 a.m. and got phone call after phone call asking about generators.

Owner and manager Craig Jones had a friend message him in the morning before the store opened and got the last two generators they had in stock.

Jones said he hadn’t checked the news that night, and it wasn’t until a little while after that he read about it.

When he called Ace Hardware, he was told there were generators in stock in Princeton, Ill., three hours away.

Jones borrowed an enclosed trailer and drove to pick up 50 additional generators that day. By the time he was back, all the generators were sold, and everyone was lined up to pick them up.

“We had a big caravan in our parking lot,” Jones said. “As we were unloading these generators, we were loading them into cars and trucks.”

Jones said they felt good about it and helped out a lot of people.

The next day Ace Hardware bought 40 more generators, and they did the same system again. The store also sold out of 50 chain saws.

“I felt really humbled because we helped get people though a bad moment,” Jones said.