Volume 36, Issue 4, April 2001



                            latest news developments

Recent Hail Storm Hits Southern States; Causes Major Glass Damage

A hail storm on the night of April 3, which hit several Southern states including Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as parts of Tennessee and Missouri, caused severe property damage to homes and cars there, forcing many glass shops to work nearly 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.
While no estimates have yet been made as to the amount of damage done, witnesses have said the size of the hail ranged from pea-size to baseball-size.

“There was mostly glass damage and damage to vehicles. There was also some damage to roofs,” said St. Francis County Sheriff Dave Parkman.
As a result of the storm, many glass shops in the areas experienced an increase in local business.

Taylor Glass in Forrest City, Ark., is one company that has experienced a large increase in business since the storm. “The storm probably damaged about 50 cars, destroyed roofs [of houses] and knocked out windows, and it only lasted a couple of minutes,” said owner David Taylor. “Without a doubt we’re getting more business now … it’s a heck of a way to get business. I just hate that it happened to people,” he added.

Taylor and his company were also interviewed by a local television news station covering the damage.

Although Taylor Glass handles both architectural and automotive glass, Taylor said that since the storm the only calls he has received have been for automotive jobs. “Windshield replacement has definitely been the biggest demand,” he said. “We haven’t had any calls for home windows, although I have had a few people come in and buy just window panes. I guess a lot of people are still getting with their insurance adjusters and taking care of paper work, so I might get some more business [from that segment].”

Other glass shops have had similar experiences. “It’s been busy and we are totally loaded up,” said an employee of S&S Glass Services in Jonesboro, Ark., who said that while there was no damage in Jonesboro, employees of the company had been commuting to jobs in Wynne and Colt—both about 30 miles away. “We’ve had to add two more racks to our truck just to load it all. I’d say business has probably increased 500 percent,” he added.

An employee with Elliott’s Fence and Glass of Sunrise Beach, Mo., an area reported by the National Weather Services as being hit by the storm, said that in his area they received very little hail. “There’s really no damage to speak of around here,” he said, but added that Versailles, Mo., did get hit much harder.

SIGCO Acquires Flat Glass Operations Formerly Owned by Glass Depot

SIGCO Inc. of Portland, Maine, acquired the flat glass assets of PPG Auto Glass in Westbrook, Maine, early last month. Although terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, SIGCO president Dave McElhinny said he expects the assets to be of great benefit to his company.

“This venture will provide the central and northern New England marketplace with a unique combination of products and capabilities,” McElhinny said. “The acquired operations will enhance SIGCO’s distribution of flat glass and sundry items associated with the trade.”

The Westbrook facility was owned by Portland Glass originally, but became a Glass Depot distribution center when Portland Glass was purchased by Apogee Enterprises Inc. several years ago. Last year, it was converted into a PPG Auto Glass facility when PPG launched a joint venture with Glass Depot.


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