Most car dealers in Florida are thankful despite scattered power outages, flooded highways, dinged inventory and facility damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. They know it could have been much worse.
"When the storm came up the center of the state, that was a blessing," said Ted Smith, president of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association in Tallahassee. "It did not do as much damage as it could have."
Smith sent an email to his nearly 450 members on Saturday asking them for reports of damage after Irma. Only about 5 percent have responded, but their news is encouraging.
"I have not yet heard of a single store that's been destroyed," said Smith. "I have not had reports from the Keys yet -- that's were the largest problems are -- but for the rest, it's mostly power outages with minimal damage."
Florida dealerships in areas where power has been restored opened Tuesday mostly to prepare for business later in the week, Smith said. Scattered power outages remain "almost everywhere" in the state, he added.