Oak Harbor business keeps things cooking, despite island-wide power outage

Power outages on Whidbey Island affected tens of thousands of people on Friday, but one business found a way to work through the darkness.

Majority of outages have since been restored in Island County Saturday morning. PSE says approximately 37 outages remain within over 1,000 customers in Puget Sound.

But PSE officials said high winds damaged portions of the company’s infrastructure leading to power outages for 30,000 customers.

Driving through the island at night, the only lights you could see were headlights and taillights on the road.

In Oak Harbor, the Safeway grocery store parking lot was pitch black but packed with people buying food inside the dimly lit store. However, some folks did not have any way to cook due to the power outage. So, they had to find alternatives.

“I’m thinking everybody thought what I was thinking, ‘I want some food,’” said Dale Everhart.

Everhart said his family was not able to cook. So, he hit the road to pick up some food for his wife and baby.

“My wife went on Facebook and looked up to see what’s open. Orlando’s open,” he said.

In a parking lot, about a dozen people stand in the chilly, windy night air waiting in line for Orlando’s Fish and Grill.

The business is owned by Jackie Stoneham and she runs it with the help of her sons: Thomas, Chris, Tim, Anthony, and of course Orlando.

Orlando Stoneham said his crews were ready for a busy day on Friday, until the unexpected hit.

“Bam! Power went out. We had the whole crew in the kitchen. We sat back and said, ‘what are we going to do,” said Stoneham.

The family decided to power up their generators and put their food truck trailer to work; a trailer, Stoneham said, they almost sold a week before to make some extra money.

Throughout the day the line kept growing. Stoneham said they went through hundreds of pounds of meat. He says almost as much as they usually sell in a week.

“We’re going to keep going as long as these generators got gas and these smokers stay hot,” he said.