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Snow Covers Midwest; Keeps Shops Busy

As snowstorms have pounded the Midwest this week, many auto glass shops have seen an array of effects-from power outages in their own facilities to an upswing in business.
Mel Roberson of Mr. Windshield Repair in Oklahoma City lost power for a little less than 24 hours and has it back now, fortunately. But, now his phone is ringing off the hook-and most of the jobs are for full replacements, though is business is repair-only.

"We've had a rash of cracks and stuff because people hadn't had their chips fixed before it turned cold," he told magazine. "I'm getting a lot of calls for replacements, and people don't understand that I don't do replacements. Some of them are telling me replacement shops might not get to their work for two to three weeks because of the backlog."

Marci Boyd of Mobile Auto Glass in Pella, Iowa, was fortunate to maintain power in the shop-and the business has been coming in quickly as well.

"[We've had] quite a few [calls] from tree limbs and falling branches," she says.

Boyd notes that the roads have been cleared in Pella, allowing them to get out to do the work somewhat easily.

For Christena Weber of Auto Glass Center in Hutchinson, Kan., it's another story-vehicles were damaged so badly in the area that many of the calls she's been receiving are from insurance agents looking for prices, but suspecting the vehicles might be totaled.

Still, the shop has remained busy with the lesser-damaged vehicles.

"We didn't have power Tuesday and weren't able to work Thursday and today and we've been busy with back glasses and such," she says.

But, right now, she suspects the majority of Hutchinson residents are in a holding mode.

"For now, they're sitting back and waiting and they've got so much to do," she says. "Some can't get their cars out. It's too soon to tell what's going to come out of this. Right now it's just the beginning."

Roberson notes that in Oklahoma City they're expecting six more inches of snow tonight. Likewise, this morning's forecasted 5 to 8 more inches of snow to fall on Kansas today.

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