Ice Storm A Boon For Mechanics

Friday, January 25th 2008, 9:27 pm
By: News On 6

You might say it's a benefit from the December ice storm.  The latest from FEMA is that it isn't expected to approve individual assistance to storm victims in Oklahoma.  Others are still struggling to clean up all of the debris.  But, at least, there is one positive.  News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports the crews have brought a bump in business for some area mechanics.

When the ice storm hit, a cavalry of big trucks and pickups came to the rescue.  Many are from utilities and tree companies from out of state.  Sometimes those trucks break down.  When they do, they're taken to repair places like Johnston Truck and Auto in Tulsa.

Gary Gray says they saw crews from all over.  Mechanics worked until midnight some nights to handle the increased workload.

"Our guys went above and beyond.  They spent more time at the shop than they did at home," said Gary Gray of Johnston Truck and Auto.

Over at the Ferguson Supercenter in Broken Arrow, they were also busy with work related to the ice storm.

"Good for business?  Yes.  Bad on customers?  Yes.  But, good for business," said Mike Jones of Ferguson Superstore.

For many mechanics, the increase in business from out of state crews was good because during the power outage, they lost business from regular customers.

"We had some from Pennsylvania Power that came in.  We had actually opened up, spent some time on a Saturday, which we're not usually open on Saturdays to get these guys in and get them out," said Mike Jones of Ferguson Superstore.

Getting them out fast was critical, especially during the height of the emergency, and as cleanup continues.

"We brought them in and got them right out, because we wanted to see them coming down our street, at home," said Gary Gray of Johnston Truck and Auto.

"You want them in.  You want them out.  You want them, as fast as you can get them, going back out because you want them back up on those poles putting the power back in," said Mike Jones of Ferguson Superstore.

Mechanic shops have also seen a big demand for work on cars resulting from the ice storm.  Many customers have come in to get their windshield wiper motors replaced after they were burned up because the wipers were covered in thick ice.