This past weekend, tornadoes struck Palm Beach Gardens in Florida and Virginia Beach, Va. While no fatalities have been reported in either case, auto glass replacement shops in those areas will likely see an influx of jobs in the coming days.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado in Palm Beach Gardens on Saturday, April 29, came with peak wind speeds of 130 mph, making it an EF2. “As the tornado moved north-northeast, it crossed into the Point at Palm Beach Gardens community where it created minor structural damage to the complex, but had some of its most photographed moments as cars were displaced, flipped, and stacked on each other,” NWS writes in its report of the incident.
The tornado hit a mile away from Atlantic Auto Glass in North Palm Beach, said Audrey Mullinix, operations manager there.
“We’re all safe and we’re all healthy,” she said. “We didn’t have any damage to our building or to our homes. The way it has affected our operations is that we’re crazy busy.”
Atlantic Auto Glass tends to be a busy location on any given day, Mullinix says, and even more so after this weekend’s inclement weather.
“It’s just kind of started rolling in,” Mullinix says of jobs stemming from the tornado. “Right now, I would say about 50% of our claims are from that storm. We’re just really happy that mostly what was damaged was property, and there doesn’t seem to be any major injuries or fatalities. We’re very thankful for that.”
Virginia Beach’s tornado reached EF3 status on Sunday, April 30, meaning the twister, which began as a water spout, saw winds of 140-150 mph in the area of Great Neck. According to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Va., the damage survey for the incident is underway but has yet to be completed.
While some shops in Florida and Virginia will have a full load of replacement jobs to address, Jody Korman of Jody’s Windshield Repair, located approximately 20 minutes away from the Great Neck area, says the storm hasn’t had much of an effect on their operations.
“We really weren’t affected since we do windshield repairs and no glass installation,” she says. “Windshield repair doesn’t really apply to tornadoes. Usually, tornadoes cause the windshield to need to be replaced.”
Though intense, the damage was very localized and neither the Virginia Beach Convention Center nor any of the hotels being used for Auto Glass Week™ were affected.