Metro D.C. Storms Wreak Havoc, Provides Boost for Glass Businesses
July 2, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

Fierce storms ravaged the East Coast on Friday night, causing major damage in the Washington D.C. metro area. Residents of Northern Virginia and Maryland experienced tree-breaking winds and a powerful thunder and lightning storm. Residents across the area experienced significant glass damage, both to home and vehicles, which has kept glass businesses working in overdrive. 

“There has been quite a bit of damage. It is not beyond what we can handle although I am sure some companies are dealing with that,” says Ian Hanshew, owner of Champion Auto Glass in Alexandria, Va. “We didn’t lose any power here though.” Other companies are experiencing frustration at not being able to access glass when they need it. Charlotte Streidel, owner of Glass Doctor in Rockville, Md., came into her shop on Saturday and the phones were lighting up, but she did not have auto glass from her distributors.

“The phones blew up. We got a lot of calls for auto glass, as you can imagine, for rear or front windshield damage from tree limbs. Everyone, of course, wants it done immediately,” says Streidel. "We don’t inventory glass and the major distributors aren’t open on the weekends anymore. You can’t do this type of work right away, certainly if a storm comes through.”

Streidel’s shop still has power, but her home is expected to be out of power for up to eight days. She has also been dealing with a lot of customer frustration. 

“We are fully booked for the entire next week. People are frustrated when you tell them that,” says Steidel. “On the flat glass side, there wasn’t any internet service or cell service until today so I just started getting calls for residential and commercial glass because people’s phone lines and Internet came up. The calls that I got for emergency board-ups on Saturday had found us on the yellow pages. You know that little ad that you want to pull so bad- well, they use it. In an emergency like this you are pulling that book out.”

Other companies are dealing with such a heavy work load that they didn’t have time to even talk about the storms or damage.

“I am extremely busy and phones are crazy so I don’t even have time to talk to you right now,” says an employee at Patriot Auto Glass in Ashburn, Va.

In other areas in Virginia, repeated storms have created a steady flow of work. Richmond, Va., has been experiencing storms since last Monday that they are still picking up work from.

“We have picked up some work from the storm,” says Mike Paley, owner of Freedom Glass in Midlothian, Va. “The majority of work came from a storm on Monday of last week. If you could have done 20 jobs on Saturday you would have had a full day.”

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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