CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Rick Joseph had one of the few stores in the Charleston area that had power after last June's derecho.
"Ice was worth gold last year," said Joseph, who owns the Foodland in Kanawha City. "We bought all the ice we could get our hands on but still couldn't supply it."
The high-powered storm that swept through the region one year ago caused widespread power outages leaving people without air conditioning in sweltering heat. People flocked to stores but found crowded aisles and low supplies of essential items like water, ice and batteries. Once gas stations regained power, long lines of cars quickly formed, with some customers waiting hours to buy what fuel they could.
The derecho left businesses struggling to keep up with consumer demands.
"It was very frustrating to try and keep up with the supply of water and ice, things that customers really needed with all the power outages," said Foodland manager Donna Slack.
Slack said they now keep a larger supply of water.
"We tried to do that last year, but we got behind right to start with," Slack said. "This time we'll try and be a little bit ahead of the game."
Little General Stores, a chain of convenience stores based in Beckley, lost power in 77 of their 91 stores.
Since the derecho, the company has begun installing generators at stores that are in what they consider problem areas.