Atlanta Glass Companies Slowly Recover from Recent Winter Blast
January 13, 2011

In Atlanta, major winter storms, such as the one that blanketed the city with snow and ice earlier this week, are rare. The city, like many others in Southeast, is now struggling to get things moving again. In fact, several Atlanta-area glass companies say they are doing the best they can to ever-so-slowly get back to work.

"When we heard the forecast we, of course, didn't know if what was being predicted would become reality," says Doug Sampsel, president of Tempered Glass Inc. in Atlanta. "So we planned to open two hours later on Monday."

The reality, though, was quite a bit different.

"We were closed on Monday and re-opened on Tuesday with limited production and no deliveries," says Sampsel, who added that the weather has had a significant affect on shipments due to road conditions.

"This morning my regular commute was over twice as long as normal with all overpasses and bridges still having some ice and with traffic conditions the very worst I've ever encountered in more than 20 years."

Other businesses are also working hard to get caught up.

Tim Herron, owner of A Modern Glass & Mirror in Atlanta, is back to work today after his company was shut down for three days as a result of the weather.

"So far we have not gotten a lot of calls," he told™ around 11 a.m. today. "We have a job where have to install some glass at a school, so we'll go out and do that today while schools are still out. Then, we'll probably shut down around 3:30 or 4:00 as the roads are supposed to freeze over. You can't drive on ice, or at least I can't," he added.

Herron said that as far as supplies, they have a good stock of glass, but for some orders for customers they will be delayed a week or so.

"Everyone seems to understand," he says.

Gary Didio, general manager of Echols Glass in Buford, Ga., says they, too, lost three full days of work.

"And today and tomorrow will be half days," says Didio. "We're just trying to get things caught up."

Didio adds that even now not every employee has been able to make it into work due to road and travel conditions.

"There's really just nothing you can do to get ready for something like this," he says.

Herron, though, says there was one thing he did to try and prepare a bit.

"I got a wood-burning stove in case the power went out," he says.

And as far as possible predictions of future snow storms, is there anything glass companies will do next time to prepare?

"Probably not, as this happens once every ten years or so," says Sampsel, adding, "Since moving to Atlanta in 1981 I've never missed a day of work due to weather conditions until this week."

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