Despite how long the storm lingered, “we kinda got lucky. It was a direct hit but the angle it came in was a little bit better, there was not as much damage as if it had come straight at us,” Broussard said. “It was one of the longest eyes that I ever experienced. It was about five hours.”
Steve Bullock, GM at Coast Cycle World in Gulfport, Miss., lost his home to Katrina seven years ago. Like many others, he said this storm was mild by comparison.
“We had a lot of rain and it sat here for a while, but it was more flood than wind. I had one tree down in my yard, a palm tree. There’s a few limbs down in the neighborhood around me," Bullock said. “The good thing is that insurance pays good for flood if you have flood insurance. It pays better than wind insurance because it’s underwritten by the United States government.”
The Transportation Revolution in New Orleans stayed open during the storm. Owner Zach Materne initially thought the storm would miss the downtown area entirely. No such luck, but at least they had power. "Staff was glad to be here because there was no power at our houses. Here there was air conditioning and the Internet," he said.
The first storm-damaged bike came into the store Tuesday afternoon, and Materne said he expected more. "It’s not going to be like Katrina, because the flooding wasn’t as intense, thank God," he said.
Katrina destroyed the store seven years earlier. This year, Materne said he expects business to slow down for a couple of weeks as customers recover.
"I do see this as kind of hindering sales for the next couple of weeks. We are the only Triumph and Ducati store in the area. Most of our customers live outside the area," Materne said. "We opened today and today has been pretty normal. The deals we are working on are deals with people that live outside of the area."
While dealers further north were glad not to have sustained damage, all eyes were on Houma when the storm came ashore.
“It pretty much sat on top of that Houma area, and I was worried about Glenn [Deidrich, owner of Cycle World of Houma], but I have spoken to him and they are all OK,” Bould said.
Ellen Diedrich, marketing director at Cycle World of Houma, confirmed. “We actually, fortunately, fared pretty well. We got a lot of rain and a lot of wind, but we really didn’t have any damage here…The main concern around here was the lack of power for a couple of days,” she said. On the upside, the dealership a number of generators in the days before the storm.
“Once the storm was on its way, people were getting warnings,” Ellen Diedrich said. “You stock up on things you think you are going to need because you know the power will go out. A couple of guys opened up the shop just to sell generators. We sold 30 generators in one day” before the storm.