LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Construction is a regular sight throughout Lake Charles, from roofs being repaired to entire homes being rebuilt.
But with that construction comes an increased risk for drivers as debris lands on the roadways.
“Well what we have is and what we have seen is an influx of tire repairs,” said Chris Best, a store manager at Pumpelly Tire. “With all the destruction and with all the reconstruction of houses and roofs and debris on the side of the road, you know, tire repairs I don’t even know what the multitude would be.”
On average, Best says a standard tire repair takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Multiply that by the number of tires needing to be fixed or replaced and customers can be looking at over an hour wait time.
“Average wait time is probably an hour to two hours on a busy day. We’ve had some days where it’s 30 to 45 minutes, but on a busy day it’s probably an hour to two hours,” Best said.
Another factor that Best says can impact repair times is the weather.
“To do a proper tire repair, you’re looking at about 15 to 20 minutes and that’s on a good weather day,” he said. “If it’s a cold, wet day that 15 to 20 minutes can turn into 25, 30 minutes.”
The increased demand may not subside for quite some time. Best says he expects to be repairing flat tires regularly for as long as contractors are doing work in the area.
“We’ve had some roofing contractors that have come on in here that said they’ll be putting on new roofs until the next hurricane season,” Best said. “So as long as contractors are pulling the roof and nails off, there’s always a chance nails will fall out onto the road.”
Best said that thanks to the hurricanes did pose some challenges in the immediate aftermath. The hurricanes damaged the shop’s bay doors, forcing them to put up a hurricane fence every night. But even with these challenges and increased need for car repairs, Best says his staff is prepared to handle the demand.
“We’ve been very fortunate with our employees,” he said. “They’ve all returned, and again with health reasons we’ve had no COVID, no injuries so we’ve been very fortunate on the employee.”