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Arkansas body shops see uptick in business following hail damage

Between hail damage from this week's severe weather and supply chain issues, local auto shops are seeing a rush in those hoping to get vehicle repairs.

CABOT, Ark. — This week's severe storms are finally gone, but the work is just beginning in Cabot.

"Hearing about everything that was happening in Cabot, I was quite nervous to come in the next day to see what was going to happen," Kelcee Brant, receptionist at Reflections Body Shop, said. 

The team at Reflections has been busy after Cabot was hit hard by heavy hail, leaving many calling for repairs.

"We got over 500 calls on Tuesday. It was very overwhelming," Brant said.

With the influx of callers needing work done alongside a shortage of parts, getting those repairs done may not be so easy.

"It might take up to 6-months to get a part that's back ordered that we don't know when it might come in. We don't have an ETA on it," Brant said.

Supply chain issues have already kept some customers' cars on the lot longer than they would like. Now, add in damage from hail and it'll be even longer.

"This is one of the worst vehicles that we've seen," Brant said about an SUV needing repair on their lot. "The whole hood is going to have to be replaced because there's just so much hail damage."

Some damage is easy to repair though. 

Reflections has a paint-less dent repair specialist on hand to help with smaller jobs, but major damage takes significantly longer and costs significantly more money.

Brant said repairs could run up to thousands of dollars.

So while the work is just beginning, Brant said time already feels it's flying by.

"The days have been going so quick, I thought yesterday was Thursday and it was Wednesday, just because of how busy it's been here," she said.

Even with supply chain issues, Brant said they'll work through everyone eventually – even if it feels overwhelming right now.

"We knew that we were going to be overwhelmed the minute the hail hit. We know that we can take care of the situation, and hopefully get it taken care of pretty quickly," Brant said.

Brant said during a hailstorm in 2016, their hail-team had to stay for 3-months in order to finish repairs. Now, with how damaging this week's hail looks, the team anticipates having to stay for 5 to 6-months.

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