LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - After hurricanes Laura and Delta, local mechanics have seen hundreds of customers a week who need maintenance done on their vehicles. Alton Lewis is the owner of 24-Hour Tires in Lake Charles.
Just hours after Hurricane Laura made landfall, Lewis and his team were set up in front of the shop ready to help the community with their tire needs.
“You have nails, then you have people that need air,” Lewis said.
He’s been working nonstop despite being impacted by the storms.
“Over here would have been my office. The whole roof came off and all the ceiling is punctured from there all the way down across.”
Within hours of Hurricane Laura’s landfall, Lewis was notified of the damage to his shop.
But that didn’t keep him from pushing forward. "When I talked to my employee, he told me, ‘Hey man, people are in this parking lot looking for service,’ " Lewis said.
Less than 12 hours after Hurricane Laura made landfall people were waiting for help with their tires.
Business hasn’t slowed down since.
“People would set their alarm to make it to this shop at five in the morning,” Lewis said. “Which I slept in my truck and they would come here and we would have five or six times more customers.”
His team has fixed a lot of tires lately, but helping a first responder with their tire is a memory Lewis always carries with him.
“I gave the tire to them and they tried to pay me over the phone and I wouldn’t accept it because I feel like that,” Lewis said. “And I got real emotional because I felt that I was part of helping out Lake Charles.”
With recent curfews, Lewis' shop hasn’t been open 24 hours a day every day but he keeps going.
“I guess because I’m a doer - that’s the only way I can answer it,” Lewis said. “I’m just a doer.”
Lewis' shop is located on the corner of E. Prien Lake Road near Hobby Lobby in Lake Charles. He says he wants the community to know his shop is open seven days a week from morning to night.