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December 9, 2007 at 10:54 AM

Ocean Shores: Much is back to normal

OCEAN SHORES — The cute coastal town is largely intact. A lot of restaurants are closed, or only serving partial menus because most had to throw their food out because they lacked refrigeration.

But the lights came on two days ago, so people are starting to get up to full speed.

I talked briefly with Paige Holt, one of the managers at Caffe Amici, which is designed to look like a comfy, stylish Seattle coffeehouse.

The cafe normally serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but was only serving breakfast today.

Holt said they had to throw out at least $3,000 worth of food, probably 15 gallons of milk alone. The cafe was closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By Thursday, they felt it was important to get a generator going so they could provide coffee and Internet access to the community.

“So many people were having [coffee] withdrawals,” she said.

But Internet access was the most important thing they wanted to provide. On the radio, or the limited TV people were able to get with generators, “no one ever talked about us, and we didn’t have power for six days,” she said. “We wanted people to come in and be able to hook up their laptops.”

The community was pretty disconnected, they weren’t able to get out the first day, they started to run out of gas because they gas station didn’t open until Wednesday. And cellphones weren’t working.

She said the storm has affected tourism. The town is a destination for people she called “storm watchers.” They rent hotel rooms, eat at the local restaurants, and when the the rain and wind hits, they run down to the jetty and watch the waves crash. By not having power, she said, the town has been quiet and slow.

“Normally we are pretty busy on the weekends, and on Saturday and Sunday we we have been dead,” she said.

This was also the community that treated 17 people who got carbon monoxide poisoning at the IGA grocery store.

Grocery store employees say the business is almost back to normal, except for the frozen and refrigerated sections. They had to throw all the food out.

It’s a little eerie to see the shelves empty. Take a look:

IMG00077.jpg

The sign at the IGA now reads: “Our community’s compassion shines brightest during adversity. Thank you Ocean Shores.”

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