By Nick St. Denis and Jordan Scott
The Texas coast is bracing for what is expected to be a Category 3 hurricane this weekend. Hurricane Harvey is anticipated to make landfall late Friday/early Saturday, and glass businesses in the area are in preparation mode.
As of early Friday afternoon, reports indicate Harvey may initially hit Corpus Christi around midnight. “After that, the storm’s path remains uncertain but it is forecast to meander near or just inland of the middle of the Texas coast through the weekend,” according to the National Weather Service.
A person answering the phone at Craftman Glass, a glass business in Corpus Christi, said early Friday afternoon his company is evacuating, and he doesn’t expect to return until Monday at the earliest.
Elisa McAvin at Binswanger Glass’ Galveston, Texas, location says that branch, along with the company’s shop in Webster, Texas, is taking a “wait-and-see” approach as of midday Friday. Binswanger also has multiple locations throughout nearby Houston, as well as Corpus Christi.
“It’s kind of case-by-case depending on the store,” she says. “We’re just kind of hanging tough right now.”
Her company has taken some calls about board-ups, including a major mall in the area. As for its employees, she says most planned to leave work around noon with only the manager and essential personnel remaining at the business.
“Some of us are leaving, and others aren’t sure,” she adds regarding whether employees plan to evacuate the area.
She says glass suppliers in Houston are unable to deliver glass until Monday at the earliest, as that area prepares for what is expected to be severe flooding.
Rachel Ramirez of Houston-based Lone Star Glass Inc. says her company is first and foremost concerned about its employees’ safety.
“We’re shutting down the office early today so they can get home to their families, and we’ll be closed tomorrow,” she says. “Internally, we’re tying down everything in the shop to make sure we protect our equipment. We don’t know what to expect. We finished many ongoing jobs in recent days so we can start on a clean slate.”
Ramirez says Lone Star has gassed up its trucks and stocked up on plywood, glass and whatever other materials may be needed.
“We have everything on hand to help for those first calls come Monday,” she says. “We’ll have to watch the news Sunday night and play it by ear.”
A spokesperson for Vitro Architectural Glass, which supplies glass throughout the entire U.S. and has a plant in Wichita Falls, Texas, says it doesn’t anticipate any disruptions from the hurricane, as that facility is more than 400 miles from the coast.
According to ABC News, governors had declared states of emergencies for at least 30 counties in Texas and all of Louisiana. A call to the Texas Glass Association and was not returned as of press time.