Coral Industries Struggles to Recover from Recent Tornados
April 28, 2011

"It's a mess here," says Lewis McAllister, executive vice president of Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Coral Industries. The company is just one of many local businesses feeling the impact of tornados that ripped through the area late yesterday. McAllister says while his company's main plant was unharmed, but without power, the architectural aluminum division was not as fortunate.

"It was leveled. There is nothing left," says McAllister of the 50,000-square-foot facility. "Everything that was in it, inventory, machinery, desks … is gone. Fortunately, no one was working at the time. Everyone left around 4:30 and the tornado struck around 5:30."

He says that of the company's 250 employees at this time he has heard of no fatalities, though there are some who were hurt and now in the hospital.

"We are OK for the most part, though it will take some time to get in touch with everyone," he says.

At this time, McAllister says there is no way to say what tomorrow will bring.

"We're in a situation that's out of our control," he says. "We will get back up and running as soon as we can. Once we have power we will be able to send e-mails, receive calls, etc. Right now we're doing everything through our cell phones."

He adds, "We're at the mercy of the power company and we will let our customers know we're back as soon as we can." He says any faxes or e-mails sent yesterday around 5:30 or later were likely not received and they will respond to all inquiries received as soon as they are able to do so.

In addition, Glass Doctor reported that a number of its franchises were affected by last night's storms. In Birmingham, Ala., Jerry Dickinson says his shop is operating and serving customers despite the "catastrophic" state of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas. Glass Doctor in Oxford, Ala., is without power and phone service and is not operating at this time. Tim Born of Glass Doctor in Rome, Ga., reported the shop is still operating and taking phone calls, although there is no power at the shop. Don Anderson of Glass Doctor in Chattanooga, Tenn., says his shop is without power and operating at limited capacity. Glass Doctor in Knoxville, Tenn., is operating in emergency mode with extended hours to help with storm recovery.™ also contacted several other area glass businesses, but at press time had been unable to reach anyone for additional comments. Stay tuned for more updates as they are made available.

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