Irene Damages Being Assessed Still

August 29, 2011

by Sahely Mukerji

Many auto glass shops along the East Coast have re-opened today, after Hurricane Irene left estimated several billion dollars in damages as it barreled up north along the coast over the weekend. On August 28, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency began its damage review of states affected by the hurricane that left at least 11 people dead, according to a Reuters report.

"We have seen no major damages in South Carolina," says Trey Rice, vice president, Ace Glass in Columbia, S.C. "There were some residential damages. It was windy, but we got lucky. There was more devastation up north. With the news coverage, I think people really protected their property and boarded up."

A little further up the coast, Bob Ox of Binswanger Glass in Richmond, Va., and Ed Marinelli of Binswanger in Norfolk, Va., were still assessing the damages. The pair reported they might have more information about damages next week.

Jeff Herman, president of Atlas Glass in Long Island City, lives in Westchester, N.Y., and reported no damage to his home. "I do know that many homes and roads were victims to fallen trees," he says. "At work (in Astoria, N.Y.) we have not had many calls as of yet [around noon August 29] for glass repair related to the storm."

Jean Brennan, office manager at Southern Glass & Mirror, says her company is located in Swansboro, N.C., and is nicknamed “Friendly City by the Sea,” a couple of miles from the intercoastal waterway, creeks and the ocean.

“We had only some minor cosmetic damage done to our building and the eye of storm came very close to Swansboro,” she says. “I have been through many storms here in eastern North Carolina, and … although we were lucky that the storm weakened more than expected when it made landfall, it was the longest hurricane I have been through. We are surprised that we have not received more phone calls for glass repairs – it seems that the community is familiar with hurricanes and were well prepared. We noticed that many of the repair requests we received were for glass that was broken while protection was being installed. Most of the other repair calls are from branches and trees that have fallen and the glass was not protected. There are a lot of vacation homes in the area, so some homeowners were not able to properly prepare. We do have additional vehicles on the road and available today so that we can respond quickly to customer calls, and although there has not been as many calls as we have expected – there has been a significant increase and we are happy that we are prepared.”

Ali Ghahremani, president of Champion Metal and Glass in Long Island, reported "some damages to certain buildings, which we expected." He adds, "It wasn't as bad as we expected … Everything is okay with my facility. Phone lines were down, but the cell phones worked. Everything's back on track today."

Funds from the federal government might ultimately cover much of the damage expense of Hurricane Irene, according to the Reuters report.

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