EL PASO — The winter storm last week dumped a record amount of precipitation on the borderland and as a result, many companies have seen an increase in business.
The owner of Napa Auto Care Collision Center on Airway said he's preparing to see more than a dozen cars damaged by icy roads last Thursday and Friday.
"As of now we know of 15 vehicles. There could be possibly more…Many cars will start coming in as soon as the police reports hit the insurance companies," said Kelly Boren.
Boren said he'll have to hire at least three employees to handle the big load. He said they’ll be busy for two to three months.
He said a car with front-end damage can cost a driver $3,000 to $4,000 to fix.
"Unfortunately, that's what we hope for. That's not good for the consumer but it's good for our business and that's what we hope for… is a large claim and we get quite a few of those during storms like this, rain storms, snow storms which obviously for us… it's a happy time for us but a bad time for car owners," said Boren.
And over at Dale Boren's Service Supply on Tony Lama, the plumbing supplies company has seen the same thing.
"Anything that has water in it. Usually it freezes up and the ice creates a lot of damage in copper pipes, back flows. You would be surprised what water and freezing can do," said the manager.
The manager said the winter season is always busy and recalled the freeze in February 2011 when employees worked seven days a week.
"It got to the point where we actually saw a little bit of chaos because people... They were paying outrageous prices outside of here. They were paying outrageous prices just for a half inch copper cup and they were paying $5 when it's a 90 cent thing. It got really bad," said the manager.
The Better Business Bureau offers tips on finding a reliable shop and mechanic.
1. First, check your warranty. If your car or truck is still under warranty, you might have to ask an authorized dealership to do repairs.
2. Next, ask around. Ask friends for recommendations. You can ask the Better Business Bureau for a list of good honest repair shops.
3. Ask a lot of questions and don't be embarrassed to wait for explanations.
4. Always get a written estimate for parts and labor.
5. Once the work is done, get everything in writing including the itemized bill and any guarantees.
6. If you have any doubts, you can check the shop's reliability at www.bbb.org .