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Stores Experience Shortage of Space Heaters After Cold Snap

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WESLACO – Viewers from around the Rio Grande Valley reached out to CHANNEL 5 NEWS saying they had trouble finding space heaters.

On Friday, we took a look for ourselves. We got similar results.

After calling over a dozen stores, we found just two who said they had units available. But only while supplies last.

One sales associate at a large retailer was direct in his response when we asked if there were any heaters left in stock.

"No sir, they've been selling like hot cakes," said the associate.

After being unable to pinpoint heaters at over a dozen large retailers in the Valley, we went to a local hardware store.

The cashier on duty said Valley shoppers would have trouble finding them no matter the size of the establishment they shopped in.

"They're flying off the shelves," she said. "None at all, whatsoever, sir. Good luck in finding those heaters."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS met a Valley shopper named Gilbert Ramos who was in search of one of the units. He told us his mother needed one to stay warm during cold nights.

"She's going to be 100 years old," said Ramos. "And she doesn't have a heater in her shower room."

A sales associate at the store told Ramos 'the heaters are gone' after he asked if there any left in stock.

Earlier this week, we told you about the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency's efforts to get heaters in the homes of people who need them most. The organization donated over 150 units during the most recent cold spells.

Today, the agency’s director, Jaime Longoria, says they've hit a standstill.

"We certainly would've given out more, we just, we can't find them," said Longoria. "A lot of the stores though are telling us these are seasonal items and what they purchase initially is all that they're going to bring in for this particular season."

Longoria says his agency may consider shopping online if they continue to have trouble restocking.

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