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Business At Auto Body Shops Surges After Snowfall

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Two days after the weekend snow, hundreds of people around the metro are still dealing with the return of winter.

Crashes on the snowy roads mean drivers are now looking to repair their vehicles. Around the state, there were more than 530 crashes and spinouts from Friday evening until Saturday afternoon.

At Oscar Auto Body, you don't need to see the damaged cars in the garage to see the back log of work. The front desk has piles of work orders that need to be processed.

Over the course of the weekend, Ramin Hakimi's business grew by 30 percent.

"The phone has been ringing off the hook," said Hakimi. "So many calls, I couldn't even possibly answer them all."

Snow-covered roads have a way of creating a rush in the auto repair industry.

"There're times when it's really overwhelming, and we can only do the best we can," Hakimi said.

Across town, at Lehman's Garage, the post-snow surge is just beginning.

"It can take a day, two days before they arrive at our shop," said Jason Junghans of Lehman's Garage.

Junghans showed up to find several damaged vehicles waiting for him in the parking lot.

"A lot of vehicles that arrive unannounced, ones we're not aware of until we find keys and tow slips," Junghans said.

Winter's return also means the return of the busy season. For weeks, the mechanics have had to adjust to a slower pace than normal for this time of year.

"The weather tells the story--or the lack of it," Junghans said.

But if there's one guarantee from a Minnesota winter, it's that snow can get the best of any driver, which means the busiest days are still ahead.

"People seem to forget how to drive in it," Junghans said. "You can always expect more work from weather."

Mechanics say one of the easiest things drivers can do to try to prevent a spinout or crash is to replace bald tires that have no traction.

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