ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) - There was simply nothing they could do as the latest powerful storm to hit the St. Louis region bore down on them — nothing but hope against hope that it would miss them.
But on Saturday, luck ran out for Lou Fusz Buick-GMC at Page and Lindbergh.
“Just about every single car on the lot — on Buick-GMC’s lot and Lou Fusz Kia — was damaged,” Service Manager Tom Treiber tells KMOX News. “Every single car.”
That’s roughly 750 vehicles with cracked windshields, ripped-off side mirrors, and too many divots in the bodywork to count as a result of hail up to the size of grapefruit that fell like cannonballs Saturday.
Bargain-hunters wasted little time checking out the aftermath of the storm.
“There’s been people walking around already,” Treiber explains, adding that they can expect to find some good bargains after the storm. “We’ll probably fix all the glass, but some people will buy (a new car) with some dents in them. But most of them will have it fixed (by Fusz) and they’ll get a bargain on the vehicle they buy, so it will be good for the customer.”
To add insult to injury, the roof and AC units on the building housing the service department were damaged as well.
But Treiber says that won’t slow down the clean-up and repair process, and they’ll be open during regular hours.
The first step is to contact their insurance provider, get an estimate of the damage, and then go to work.
“It’s not the first time this has happened,” Treiber points out. “We’ve got a process in place, kind of an assembly line deal where we’ll have employees moving the vehicles in and out of the building and we’ll start immediately working on them.”
That process could take up to a month or more to complete because they have to maintain their regular repair service for customers at the same time.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Treiber admits.
He says in his 30 years with Lou Fusz, this is the worst storm damage he’s ever seen on their lot.