IK Multimedia's team takes off storm panel shutters on Sept. 12 in Sunrise, Florida. The orange stains on the office building are from water damage.

Hurricane Irma Update

Days after Hurricane Irma slammed into Southwest Florida — killing at least 31 and leaving millions without power — MI retailers and suppliers are slowly reopening their businesses and are working to fix the damage. The companies in Irma's path that Music Inc. reached out to reported they are safe and reported minor or no damage to their facilities.

All County Music, Armadillo Enterprises, Blues Angel Music, Buffet Crampon USA, Chauvet Lighting, Gator Cases, Guitar Center, IK Multimedia, Michael Kelly Guitars, Paragon Music Center, and Super-Sensitive Musical String Company have reopened their doors. Majority of Sam Ash music stores have reopened.

"I am glad to report that all our employees and their families are fine, but there is of course a lot of clean up to do from the flooding and wind damage sustained throughout the area," said François Kloc, president and CEO of Buffet Crampon USA.

"The overall damage to greater Jacksonville and our dealers throughout Florida is a bit more concerning with flood and wind damage and many people [are] still without power," added Al Maniscalco, director of sales and marketing at Buffet Crampon. "We are not sure yet how this may effect anything for us logistically with shipping or doing our business day to day."

Michael Kelly Guitar's Tracy Hoeft said that, although the hurricane has caused minor damage, her team feels "blessed."

"It could have been so much worse," she said.

According to CNN, approximately 2.6 million utility customers are still without power in the state. As of print time, at least one MI retailer in Tampa, Florida, lacks power.

Paragon Music posted the following message on its Facebook page on Sept. 14:

"We are still without power this morning. However, we are going to be open as long as we can bare the heat! Stop by for a lights out special on any piece of gear in the store!"

Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, but Hurricane Irma was the longest-lasting powerful hurricane or typhoon ever recorded, worldwide, reported NPR. Irma sustained its 185-mph winds for 37 hours.

Irma's winds ripped a tree out of the ground in IK Multimedia's parking lot.

"Over the years, we have learned how to properly prepare for these dangerous weather events to ensure the safety of our staff and our property," said Gary Kerzner, managing director at USA IK Multimedia. "Today, we are fortunate that everyone is alright, the office is open and while we are cleaning up the debris outside, we are also working on our newest release announcements, video conferencing with our colleagues in Italy and taking care of our customers around the world. Thankfully, we have a large community of musicians supporting us and since the music never stops, neither will we."

Others worry that Category 5 hurricanes will become a part of everyday life.

"We are so fortunate that the Florida panhandle was pretty much unscathed," said Jim DeStafney, founder of Blues Angel Music. "There's never been anything like this in Florida before. I hope these huge storms don't become the norm." MI

Music Inc. will update the story when more information becomes available.

As of Friday, Sept. 15:
Power has been restored to Paragon Music.
All Sam Ash Florida locations have reopened except for Margate.

— By Kasia Fejklowicz