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Body shops cashing in on recent winter storm

ST. LOUIS - Winter weather walloped many drivers across the St. Louis metro area and it has auto body shops in overdrive.

“My car is just a mess. I don’t even know what to do. I’ll just be on standby and wait for somebody to call me,” says driver Atiya Robinson.

As the snowstorm slammed into St. Louis on Friday afternoon, it wasn’t long before Robinson felt the impact.

“A van smacked into a truck and it hit my car,” she says.

She and her kids were shaken up but they weren’t hurt. The car, on the other hand, had quite a bit of damage.

Many other drivers were thumped by the winter weather. Some ended up in ditches or worse.

“The worse the weather, the busier we are,” says Dennis Carroll, owner of Don’s Body Shop.

Carroll says drivers are starting to hear back from their insurance companies so he’s been getting nearly 15 calls a day for repairs which is more than quadruple his normal business.

“In years past, we’ve gotten cars that a snowplow has scrape down the sides or knocked off a mirror or something like that. When there’s this much snow it kind of piles up on the sides and believe it or not it that kind of acts like a buffer,” he says.

He says that if a car is more than five years old and it needs to be towed in for repairs, it will most likely be considered totaled. That’s leaving some drivers in a tough spot as more winter weather heads our way.

“My bumper was hanging off and then it fell off in traffic. Oh my God I was so embarrassed,” says Robinson.

“If it’s just minor and no lights are broken and it can still drive some people will wait until the bad weather is over and that way if something else happens they can just get it done it at one time,” says Carroll.

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