Eleven days after an explosion across the street flattened half of Houston Corvette Services, the owner finally got to go inside his two 3,000-square-foot buildings full of cars.
What Gordon Andrus found Tuesday underneath the sheets of metal were 17 classic cars, all damaged but every one still able to be repaired again, including a ’72 Corvette that “literally was finished, waiting for the customer to pick it up,” he told ABC 13 News.
“That’s what we do at Houston Corvette Services,” he explained, “so we can fix a Corvette.”
The cars were worth about a million dollars, and Andrus estimates it will cost $300,000 to $400,000 to make all the repairs.
“We’re digging out the cars, the equipment, the material, and the parts out of there and relocating to our new location,” Andrus said.
As he opened the door and looked inside the once-completed orange ’72 that suffered minor fiberglass damage to the rear, the ever-optimistic Andrus was philosophical about the whole incident: “A little dirty, a little dusty, but there’s nothing here catastrophic.”
Indeed, nothing nearly as catastrophic as the deadly damage done across the street to Watson Grinding and Manufacturing, which lost two employees in the explosion that completely destroyed their facility on Jan. 24. The road between Andrus’ company and Watson Grinding and Manufacturing is still blocked off with debris covering the street.
The Insurance Council of Texas says a total of 300 auto claims have been filed since the explosion, along with more than 500 homeowner claims.
Andrus says the cars inside his business were all insured, and luckily since the explosion happened at 4:20 a.m., his facility was closed.
“Nobody lost any lives or was hurt,” he said, “so we’re just making the best of it. Other people have it worse.”
You can definitely say that about Watson Grinding and Manufacturing. According to chron.com, the Harris County attorney is suing the company over the explosion, claiming in a suit filed last week that Watson violated numerous laws following the explosion at its Gessner facility, according to First Assistant County Attorney Robert Soard. The County Attorney’s lawsuit alleges that Watson discharged air pollutants into the atmosphere (including propylene and byproducts of combustion) when a 2,000 gallon propylene tank exploded. According to the release, “Flying glass and debris injured many residents while they slept. As a result of the blast, many nearby residents cannot occupy their damaged homes while others now live in damaged structures.”
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