New Orleans Audio/Video, located in Harahan, La., about 10 miles west of New Orleans, was prepping its new showroom for the holiday selling season when Katrina and its tornados struck. "It took down one whole side of our building," says Richie Savoie. "It just fell to the ground, and the inside was just totally torn up with the winds and the rain."
In mid-October, Savoie wrestled with an insurance company for payment, but his floor-planning company, Capital Solutions, he says, "has been absolutely wonderful." So New Orleans Audio/Video turned its warehouse around the corner into a makeshift showroom, complete with displays, just to sell to people who have lost their home electronics—even offering warehouse pricing.
The 100mph winds of Hurricane Rita ripped off a 10-foot section of roof off Suburban TV Home Theater Gallery in Beaumont, Texas, imploded plate glass windows, buckled walls and drove rain into the dealer's walls and ceiling. "We took a pretty good hit," says Charlotte Fontenot, "But we have insurance and that's what it's for."