Residents Turn to Coffeeshops, Corner Stores to Charge Up Their Devices

In areas with ongoing power outages, people are camping out in coffeeshops, corner stores, gas stations and anywhere they can find an outlet to charge up phones, laptops, Kindles and other electronics.More than 320,000 residents had their power knocked out as a result of the Sunday storms, and as of Tuesday evening, more than 71,000 customers were still without power in Dallas County.In locations hit hardest by outages, finding a place to charge your phone takes luck and patience. Nearly every outlet was in use Tuesday at a Starbucks in Casa Linda Plaza. In that ZIP code, 7,600 of the 11,000 residences were still without power, according to Oncor estimates Tuesday.“Everybody is coming in to charge up and use the Internet,” barista Dave Wilson said. “It’s the story of Starbucks right now,” he added. “It’s the only place open. It’s crazy.”One customer, Nancy Good, secured a coveted spot next to an outlet for charging a phone and Kindle, but she forgot one of her chargers and was debating whether to send her husband Dan home for it."You forget how much you use electronics," Nancy said.The couple has been without power since Sunday afternoon. "It's been very quiet at home," Dan added.They've been told that power could be restored before Thursday, but like many residents they've gotten updates that have said there is still no estimate. For now, they continue to rely on public spaces to keep their personal devices charged.In South Dallas, gas station employees said they have had people stopping in, asking to charge phones and devices. One employee at a QuikTrip without power said some people in the area are catching buses to other parts of town where there is power.May Davis, a manager at Fair Park Grocery, said the store has been busy, but she's charging phones for customers who come in and ask.Large parts of the surrounding neighborhood are still without power, and, like many places, it varies from block to block. Davis said she lives in the area and has power, but a lot of houses just a short walk away do not."Everybody's been fussing," she said.  Continue reading...

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