Fans are the next best bet for Salem residents who don't have air conditioning (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

If you haven’t already purchased a portable air conditioning unit to get some relief from this weekend’s 100 degree plus heat wave you are out of luck. According to retailers in the Salem-Keizer region, there are no units to be found.

Lowe’s and Home Depot have been sold out since early this week. A spokesperson for Home Depot’s Cherry Avenue location said it was possible the store would get a delivery sometime next week—after local temperatures moderate. 

It is the same story at Kelly’s Home Center in Salem and Brooks True Value Hardware. The run on portable air conditions began earlier this week. Some stores were even fielding calls and visits from Portland-area residents. An employee at Kelly’s said there isn’t a portable air conditioner in a hundred mile radius.

Eric Martinez, assistant manager at Brooks True Value Hardware, said that manufacturers had limited stocks due to Covid-related factory shut downs across the country.

Though the portable units are not available, on Thursday afternoon some retailers still had electric fans on their shelves, but they were selling fast.

Another option for staying cool during the heat wave is a water mister, like the kind found in hot climes such as Las Vegas. But that option, too, is already gone or limited.

Martinez at Brooks True Value said his store had a few build-it-yourself mister kits left, which retail at about $30. He suggested an alternative is building a mister using PVC pipe.

One employee at Home Depot said as a last resort to stay cool indoors this weekend is to put ice in front of a box fan.

The Covid pandemic caused the slowdown of manufacturing across all fields and retailers won’t have portable air conditioners in stocks until local temperatures are back to our normal 80 degree range.

Lyndon Zaitz is the publisher of Keizertimes. Reach him at [email protected]

Related coverage:

Here's where you can stay cool in the deadly heat this weekend

Updated weekend forecast for June 25-27

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