Iced out? Extreme heat triggers ice shortage in Phoenix area

It’s official: July was the hottest month ever in Phoenix, as well as the hottest month ever recorded in any U.S. city.

The extreme heat in Phoenix also created a huge demand for something we may often take for granted: ice.

Typically, during this time of year, ice factories and distributors are working around the clock to produce as much ice as possible for their vendors. However, recent demand overwhelmed supplies, causing some restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores to run out completely.

"We are going through hundreds of pounds a day, maybe a thousand pounds a day, as much as we can make," said Matthew Braman. "Basically, we are selling it as fast as we can make it."

Some stores, like Water and Ice on Indian School Road and 28th Street, make their own ice in house.

"Mostly, it’s people coming -- they are getting groceries next door, or they are having a party or something," said Braman. "Some people are trying to cool off their swimming pool, but if a local restaurant has an ice machine break, they will often come in and ask for 200lbs or 300lbs or more."

But that increase in demand means they have to limit the amount people can take.

Matthew "eventually we’ve had to start putting limits on how much people can get because we will get calls in the morning and they will say I want to buy all your ice and its like we cant we are going to have more customers."

Some stores, however, still need to run to other stores to keep up with the demand for ice, like Corner Express, located near McDowell and 32nd Street.

"If we are low, we go to Costco and we buy ice," said Debby Chisholm.

The Corner Express has a big ice maker in the back, but still had to make store runs to keep up with demand.

"We have had to bring 30, 40 bags of ice here before to make sure that everybody has their available ice," said Chisholm.

Ice experts say it takes longer for ice machines to make ice this time of year.