Auto Glass Shops Weather the Storm -but Just Barely
November 2, 2012

by Debra Levy, deb@glass.com

All along the Northeast Coast yesterday auto glass shops struggled to get back to functioning levels. Normal is a long way away especially along the New Jersey coastline, three of New York City's five boroughs and Long Island.

"The whole island is a disaster," says Howard Cohen president of Broadway Glass in Amityville, N.Y., of his Long Island location. "Massapequa and Lindenhurst have been particularly hard hit. We just got power back on at the shop today. I still don't have it at home."

"I've been moving our generator to the shop in the morning and home at night," he says. "But the problem now is you can't get gas. I got in line at BJ's at 5 this morning and there was already a line a mile long with police keeping order. I never got any. For two days, I've been trying to get gas and my shop is right next to a gas station."

"Gas distribution centers are starting to open up again, but there's still no power. This is like nothing I've ever seen."

Cohen says his workload has increased as a result of the storm. "There is a ton of work, but people also lack patience. If someone can get there quicker, they will use them, but for everyone I lose I get three."

Scheduling is also a challenge. "You can't really figure out how long anything will take because of the traffic. It took me 90 minutes to go from Huntington to Northport, that's 13 miles."

Cohen, whose shop does both auto and architectural glass, says it's "like the depression must have been ... people just walking around with no where to go who have lost everything."

He says the local flat glass distributors have not open all week. "Oldcastle, the old Floral Glass in Hauppauge, just re-opened. They had no power but they just got it back and are open now."

"We fared better than most," says Nancy Sweitzer or Active Glass in East Meadow, N.Y. also on Long Island. "We have lights, we didn't have cable so we had no Internet but we were able to open and we can help people out. The worst part of the situation is that it's getting cold and people have no where to go. The other problem is the lack of fuel. Gas is very scarce."

Sweitzer says she doesn't expect the "perfect storm" to result in much increased business. "The towns of Freeport and Hempstead have so much damage that, sadly, the houses will be demolished and rebuilt from scratch," she said. "Many cars that were waterlogged are also full of salt from the salt water and they will be totaled too."

"It's all so very sad."

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