“When we walked through that door,” said Kim, “we were shocked. Part of the ceiling was on the ground, the middle section of the ceiling was on the other side of the Chrysler place, the back wall was out, all the doors were blown in and two of the main steel beams were wrapped around cars at the Chrysler place.”
Kim said she also received a call a few weeks after the storm from a woman in Madisonville, Tenn., which is a little more than 80 miles from Ringgold. The woman told her she had found a 3x4-foot sign of theirs in her pasture, which Kim gladly drove to retrieve.
The Stapps immediately began to patch up the damage and attempted to reopen the business. For nearly three weeks, they worked without a ceiling while waiting on a temporary roof and only had electricity in part of the area. Kim said, with the community in distress and so many cars destroyed, there really wasn’t a lot of need for mechani-cal work, so she got innovative and made the best out of a negative situation.
“When Belfor (a restoration company) and all the other big trucks came rolling into town to help,” said Kim, “I just started walking up and down the streets handing out business cards. I went to everyone I could find to let them know we were open if they needed us, so we got quite a bit of business that way.”
After working through the summer in less than ideal circumstances, the Stapps moved the business to the Remco business center for three months while the garage was being demolished and reconstructed.
Fortunately, the Stapps are finally back in their original spot and excited about all the upgrades and changes, including their bright new floor finished with a “military grade” epoxy for easy cleaning and lots more windows to keep the area looking clean and bright.
Stapp Automotive Repair
7120 Nashville St.
Ringgold, Ga. 30736
Business hours: Mondays through Fridays, 7a.m to 5 p.m.