Tom Hedke Hail Repair - Midland,Texas
Rain a treat for some businesses, detrimental to others
By: Kathleen Thurber Midland Reporter-Telegram
Although the persistent weekend rain may have dampened more than a few holiday plans, for some in the Permian Basin, the addition to this year's precipitation total -- now at more than twice the normal value -- was a blessing. "We unfortunately make our living from those scenarios," said Allen Frasier at All Star Refinishing and Collision Centers, where they repair water and hail damage. "But we want people to be safe." He said rain causes numerous problems that are mostly preventable, including flooded engines from driving in puddles, suspension damage from hitting curbs and electrical shortages. When engines are flooded, he said, they have to be replaced at a cost of between $5,000 and $6,000. Cotton farmers, too, are anticipating bigger profits this year after significant rain during the last several days.
It's going to make all the difference in the world," said Martin County AgriLife Extension Agent Gary Earhart
He said most of the dryland crops have gotten off to a slow start this year because of the triple digit temperatures and dry spell that hit in June shortly after planting season. But, he said, with rain in the ground a return of hot temperatures, now would be ideal. "If nothing bad happens, they should make at least an average crop," Earhart said. "If it rains again in August they could make a bumper crop." Following the May 14 storm, Action Wrecker Service received more than 200 calls for towing with the first 150 coming in the day of the storm and others trickling in through the early part of the following week, dispatcher Velma Espino said. This week, she said, they had one morning where they received 17 calls, but otherwise haven't come close to the totals of the spring storm. Still, at $75 a pop for in-town towing services, any jump in requests is a boost in revenue.
Businesses that repair hail damage said they're still seeing customers who sustained dents to their vehicles earlier in the year and expect most damage suffered last week will come in to their shops after insurance claims have come through in the coming weeks.
I started it 19 years ago," said owner of Auto Hail Repair Tom Hedke. "It's a very good year. It's not the best, but it's good.
For other entrepreneurs, wet weather puts a halt in typical production.
It kills us," said Neal Kessler at Kessler's Landscape Construction. "It cuts our production in half
He and other landscapers said there is some work they can do during showers and thunderstorms, but for the most part have to wait it out because the bulk of their tasks take place outdoors. "As landscapers we have to learn to appreciate the rain," Kessler said, adding it may stop work, but it's also necessary for the growth of the vegetation they plant. Construction companies also were forced to turn their focus indoors. "We haven't done anything outside," said Salvador Corellas of Corellas Construction. Jeff Fraley at Trademark Builders said concrete work this week had to be postponed because the mud surrounding sites wouldn't accomodate their equipment. They also have to stop roofing jobs during storms, he said. However, he and Corellas agreed, as long as the rain fades during the coming week, they shouldn't get too far behind because there weren't many spells of consecutive rain days during the earlier part of the year. If rain persists through the summer, Corellas said, then they may start getting concerned.
Kathleen Thurber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.