The Parkway Church in Victoria, Texas recently began accepting cars from an auto dealership in Port Lavaca after warnings that the coastal city would be hit hard by Hurricane Ike. About 1,000 cars were sitting in the church’s parking lot, said Senior Pastor Mike Hurt, the Victoria Advocate.
A day later, car dealerships and rentals from Port Lavaca to Victoria were scrambling to shelter their vehicles from the anticipated hurricane. A few were still open for business, while others had boarded up and closed down.
“My sense is it’s probably not going to be real, real bad, but you better be safe than sorry,” said Dennis Shroller, general manager at Atzenhoffer Chevrolet Cadillac in Victoria.
Dennis Shroller, general manager at Atzenhoffer Chevrolet Cadillac in Victoria said the auto dealership had to store 600 cars in 14 buildings.
Von Dohlen Motor Company in Goliad moved some of its cars into a barn owned by the company’s general manager John Von Dohlen.
“Our major concern is just protecting everything that’s inside – our records and inventory,” said Roberta Llanes, Van Dohlen’s office manager.
This included unplugging all the company’s computers and moving them to more secure locations inside the dealership, Llanes said.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car on North Navarro Street had no storage area for its cars.
“We are trying to rent what we have available now,” said Juan Briones, a management trainee at Enterprise.
According to the Victoria Advocate, most Enterprise customers requested larger vehicles such as mini-vans and SUVs.
“People are trying to move their families and move as much as possible,” Briones said.