It couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Lester Raines, the owner of the Honda dealership in South Charleston, says not only were seven brand new cars damaged Wednesday evening but also his building now has no telephone or internet connection.
A large load truck traveling down Route 60 in front of Raines’ dealership was too tall to make it under the utility lines that cross the road. The truck was carrying a piece of a windmill that caught the lines and brought them down along with a power pole.
Seven vehicles received several thousand dollars in damage. It also pulled the telephone and computer lines out of the building doing even more damage.
Raines says normally he’d have about 200 vehicles on his lot. But because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan back in March, there’s a serious shortage of Honda’s worldwide. Those seven made up about 20 percent of his inventory.
He says they can’t be sold as new vehicles because there’s more than $500 damage to each. Raines is adamant the trucking company is going to have to fork over the money for those vehicles because he can’t get any more from Honda until those are paid for in full.
As for his communications quandary, Raines says it’s hurting business. Customers can’t call in, his sales people can’t call out and the service department can’t order new parts on-line or by phone. Raines says he has no idea when the lines can be repaired.