Local businesses booming following tornadoes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local businesses booming following tornadoes

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- The tornadoes have affected people in a big way and cleaning up isn't a quick and easy process. Businesses are slammed with storm victims needing their services.

Channel 3 is taking a look at how they're keeping up with the demand and the money they're making in return.

It's been one week since tornadoes swept through the area leaving a path of major destruction behind. From hotel rooms to new roofs and car repair, a lot of businesses have their phones ringing off the hook.

"The roofs of course have really been hammered," C&R Roofing owner Ruth Vincent said.

From those damaged by hail to those completely lifted off, roofing companies are working as fast as they can so not to miss out on business.

"Just call after call, 30 to 50 calls a day," Vincent said.

C & R Roofing has spent every day this week tarping and making estimates ranging anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars each.

"I'm glad they're going with a local company like us," Vincent said.

But, until that roof is on, many folks are turning to hotels for temporary homes.

"We've sold out every night this week," Homewood Suites Hilton Sales Director Allie Peck said.

Homewood Suites Hilton is having to turn people away now. They took in storm victims first, then started hosting dozens of insurance agents in town.

"It's good for business, but obviously very sad," Peck said.

More guests, not only means more money for the hotel, but also extra hours for the staff.

Body shops are raking in the dough for hail repair. Marshall Mize Ford had to hire four new workers.

"It's been absolutely crazy. We've looked at over 200 claims this week," Marshall Mize Ford body shop manager Rick Deyoung said.

Popping hundreds of dents out of each car isn't a quick fix. Marshall Mize has a three week waiting list before you can been seen.

To save time, several insurance companies setup a drive-thru.

"We can do more estimates a day that way which means we get more customers taken care of quicker so it's really a benefit for both of us," Progressive Insurance Agent Robert Pickett said.

The faster they work, the sooner these businesses get paid.

The hotels Channel 3 talked to say many of their guests are checked in for at least a month. The car repair shops expect to stay backed up for a couple of months. Roofing, of course, takes a little longer, so they plan on business booming for the next several months.

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