Business Booms in Wichita, Kan., Area—Literally
July 13, 2009

Business for auto glass replacement companies is literally booming in Wichita, Kan., this week, in the aftermath of a massive hail storm last week.

Auto Glass Plus in Wichita has done 54 replacements as a result of the storm, according to company representative Angie Deatrick.

"We had up to baseball-sized hail in some places," she says.

Lewis Street Glass Co. normally averages five to six cars a day for replacement business; since the storm, they've been doing 25 a day.

"We've cut out all mobile service just to keep up with it," says manager Jamie Byers.

Byers expects the company to get caught up by the end of the week.

"It gave us a nice little boost here," she adds.

Byers noted that initially, the company has had mostly cash work resulting from the storm, but expects by midweek for the insurance claims to start rolling in.

"The first couple of days were those who were paying for [the work] on their own," she says.

Lewis Street also does flat glass and commercial work, but has found the majority of the work has been on the automotive side—and the shop itself made it through unscathed as well.

"We were kind of in the middle of where the big part of the storm was," Byers says.

Northstar Automotive Glass®, a distributor based in Wichita that also has some retail locations, also has seen a major upswing. Company president Garry Dunnegan told glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine that the Northstar retail locations set a record for the number of installations it has completed in one day last Thursday—the day after the storm hit.

"We have been extremely busy with the hail in our retail stores the last few days," he adds.

According to local reports, the damage from the storm has totaled approximately $1.5 million.

And this isn't the last of the storms on the horizon, according to reports from www.weather.com. Meteorologists with weather.com/The Weather Channel® predict large hail will impact the Northern High Plains this week in both the western Dakotas and western Nebraska, moving East into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley by Wednesday.

The Weather Channel also predicts strong storms with some hail in the Southeast tonight.

Has your business been impacted-positively or negatively-by recent hail storms? CLICK HERE to e-mail glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine.

CLICK HERE to view the latest reports for your area from www.weather.com.

CLICK HERE for a report from Kansas.com about the local storms.

CLICK HERE for a report about the uptick in insurance claims caused by the storm.

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