Hurricane Irma churned up the west coast of Florida on Sunday, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake along with uncertain impacts on the state’s door and window industry.

According to Reuters, catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimated that the storm did about  $20 billion to $40 billion in damage in Florida, lower than earlier estimates that pegged the disaster’s price tag at more than $100 billion. About 5.8 million Florida residences and businesses are without power. Last week, Irma caused billions in damage across the Caribbean, where it killed 38 people.

By Monday morning, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed toward Georgia, where it was poised to dump several inches of rain and generate enough winds to knock down trees and power lines.

In Florida, the storm has left a lot of door and window companies, from small installers to big manufacturers, unable to operate. Many calls from DWM to glass businesses throughout Florida went unanswered and unreturned Monday as of press time, as they are likely still shut down. Most window companies DWM reached out to Friday morning were already closed. Some had spent the previous few days securing windows on businesses and homes, and others closed even earlier to allow employees to evacuate.

PGT Innovations, a major manufacturer of impact-resistant fenestration products for residential and commercial applications, ceased all operations on Friday. Assessment teams were scheduled to inspect the company’s facilities in Miami today.

The World Millwork Alliance, which is headquartered in New Port Richie, Fla., on the state’s west coast, said it would be closed “until further notice” because of Hurricane Irma.

“The Sunshine State is no stranger to Mother Nature’s wrath,” the statement reads. “Like our friends in Houston, we are strong, resilient, and stand together before, during, and in the aftermath.”

On a Facebook group for door and window installers, Jeff James, who works with Bahama Glass and Windows of Cape Coral, Fla., said he’s worried about production issues after Irma. He posted that standard windows and sliders are already on a three-week wait period, and custom products are on a four- to five-week wait.

“I can only wonder after the storm,” he wrote.

Falling Glass and Cranes

Irma did significant damage to under-construction projects in South Florida, ripping glass panels off of the tallest building in the state and toppling sections of cranes at three other sites.

Fox News national correspondent Bryan Llenas posted video on Twitter of glass lites flying off of the 85-story Panorama Tower in Miami. The mixed-use tower was slated for completion by the end of this year and is Florida’s tallest building.

Llenas later posted images of two different glass panels—which he said measured six feet in height—that had fallen to the ground. Both are evidently made up of laminated glass, as each remained in one large piece despite partially coming out of their framing.

Nearby, construction cranes on at least three different sites bent and partially collapsed during the storm.

According to the Miami Herald, a crane at an apartment building in downtown Miami went down late morning Sunday, followed by a second crane at a condo tower a couple miles north. In the afternoon, another at an oceanfront Fort Lauderdale condo fell.

The newspaper reported that in all three cases, the booms, or arms, that collapsed still remained attached to the main upright portion of the cranes, so they didn’t fall all the way down to the street.

Also in Miami, a video shot Sunday afternoon inside a shop shows a waist-high wall of water pressing against the glass doors and windows of the business:

Be Prepared

Miami’s Dash Door & Closer Service, which mostly serves the commercial market, says it’s up and running thanks to pre-planning. Steps taken included backing up servers, gassing up vehicles, securing facilities and keeping employees safe — and informed.

“There’s definitely some damage, but we made preparations so that we can serve our clients,” said Steve Sanko, the company’s CEO. “Our folks were able to assess damage today, and we’re going to be back operational tomorrow.”

Dash Door says it prepositioned vehicles with employees throughout the Miami-Dade/Palm Beach area to ensure that they could blanket the region after the storm. They kept the rest of their trucks in a safe warehouse location. The company also pre-purchased 1,000 gallons of gas one week before the hurricane hit so it wouldn’t be dependent on outside supplies.

Sanko expects his company to be very busy over the next several days.

“Starting mid-yesterday, the phones started ringing quite a bit,” he said. “The phones have been ringing today as well.”

Glass Show Impact

Irma was expected to make its way through the Atlanta area as a tropical storm Monday and into early Tuesday.

The annual GlassBuild America show is set to begin Tuesday, and event organizers say the event will continue as planned “unless and until the Mayor of Atlanta and the Governor of Georgia declare a state of emergency and require evacuations for the Atlanta area.”

Exhibitors were seen on Twitter Sunday and Monday setting up on the show floor, though some companies—including Assa Abloy and Dow Corning—have confirmed they will not exhibit as planned due to the storm. Others tell DWM they are taking a wait-and-see approach.

USGlass research editor Nick St. Denis contributed to this report.

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