Fans fly off store shelves as Puget Sound region begins to feel the heat

KING COUNTY, Wash. — The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat advisory for the Pacific Northwest through Monday night.

We are already seeing the impact that the extreme heat is having on the way we live, including finding a shady spot at parks like Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill.

But of course, a lot of people are worried about keeping their homes cool.

That has meant a run on fans and air conditioners, or anything else to stay cool.

Customers loaded up on fans at Stoneway Hardware in Wallingford.

“They have been flying off the shelf,” said Malcolm Kennedy, a Stoneway Hardware sales associate.

Derek Ghormsley had his hands full in anticipation of the historically hot weekend ahead.

“I work in a bar,” he said, “and it’s going to be warm this weekend. So I’m buying a couple of small fans so we can keep some circulation going.”

The empty shelves, however, mean some customers were sure to be disappointed.

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Erna Devick said she was looking for “a fan, a standup fan, you know. And they don’t have any.”

In fact, Stoneway Hardware was fast running out of any and every kind of fan. Customers began snapping them up in earnest Thursday.

“People were buying them two, three, four at a time,” said Kennedy. “Typically, most people were getting at least two different sizes.”

Then there was Dr. Jean Harris, finding cool comfort inside the Douglas Truth Library in Seattle’s Center District, one of about 30 cooling centers Seattle has opened to help beat the heat.

It’s an escape from just about everywhere else, said the 78-year-old anthropologist and writer.

“Because it’s really hot,” said Harris. “And my apartment is very, very hot and I don’t have air conditioning. And if you don’t have it, you can’t get it now, that’s for sure.”

As many of you know, this is Pride weekend. and the Capitol Hill Pride Festival is still being held in Cal Anderson Park.

The organizers say they are prepared to keep everyone safe.

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