Englewood family business devastated by Hurricane Ian for 32 years

A Virginia Beach man and his family are now packing up their Florida business as it was devastated by Hurricane Ian.

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. — Along Placida Road in Englewood, the damage from Hurricane Ian has grown worse, with fences torn down and business signs strewn around the parking lot.

Going any further, it’s hard to miss a few damaged cars and the huge stack of sheet metal on top of the blown out windows, A-1 Collision & Glass of Englewood a few days ago.

“[We’re] Still trying to digest it, but it’s a lot to deal with,” said auto shop owners Corey and Susan Steinfas.

Thirty-two years of hard work have been torn apart on this land. The surrounding neighborhood is littered with tiny homes destroyed by the storm.

Steinfaths is known for passing business from generation to generation. After opening more than three decades ago, Corey and Susan Steinfath quickly took over the family business. They’ve been running it for years until October.

Their son Nick Steinfath has been with the company for 11 years. He’s about to take over, but right now, there’s nothing to have.

“Our family has invested a lot of time and money in this industry trying to give back to the community,” Nick said. “It’s really, really frustrating to see things like this.”

Glass was shattered on the front patio, and sheet metal was hung from the roof by a wire. Nick’s brother Jake Steinfath, who returned to Florida a year ago after living with his wife in Virginia Beach, said they couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the damage.

“My brother and I were the first to get there,” Jack explained. “We were rolling around the corner and you started seeing sheet metal sticking to churches, trees, up and down the street and we finally saw the shops.”

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Susan said she was only diagnosed with cancer last year. The community came together in her time of need, and she has no doubt that they will come together again to help restore business.

Susan also said she is still helping clients who seek help, even as their entire business is torn apart.

“Even when we fail, clients still come here wanting us to help them,” she said.

In addition to the damage, the Steinfath brothers said they heard from their insurance company that they couldn’t get coverage for wind damage due to the age of the building. Now, they have to pay out of pocket to get back into business.

Despite the enormous challenges, the Steinfaths say they believe they will one day open up again to the community that has supported them for 32 years.

“Honestly, I’m sure there are a lot of good people out there who want us here and will do everything they can to help us stay,” Jack said.

The Steinfath brothers said they were at the store less than 24 hours after the hurricane hit.

Several kits and welders were missing, which the family believes may have been stolen from the house.

The family was able to salvage some vehicles from the building, but several cars on the lot were dented and glass shattered from falling debris.

A family member created a GoFundMe page for the family to help restore the rest of the business and hope to start a new chapter.

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