North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today reported that an F-4 tornado that tore through the Northwood area last Sunday has caused approximately $27 million in damage to private and public property in the area. This figure is expected to increase in the coming days. Poolman will be traveling to the area this morning with Governor Hoeven to assess progress from earlier this week.
Damage estimates from several major insurance carriers who write a majority of the auto, homeowners, and farm/ranch insurance market in North Dakota indicate that they have received around 500 claims that total around $20 million in damage. In addition to these claims, many public buildings, such as the school, fire hall, and airport have sustained an estimated $7 million in damage, with $5 to $6 million in damage to the school alone.
The Insurance Department and many of the insurance companies have had staff on the scene much of the week in Northwood assisting policyholders with their claims and mitigating damages to property. Insurance Department staff will also be in town next week, working out of Alerus Financial. The State Fire and Tornado Fund, which insures public buildings across the state has staff working to save the recently refinished gym floor at the school.
Poolman said, “The roof on the gym is mostly gone and what’s left is falling in. The floor was recently refurbished—it would be a shame to lose it. We are working to find a solution to fashion some sort of temporary cover that will protect the floor from rain.”
Fire and Tornado Fund staff has been working closely with engineers to get a grasp of the school’s condition. It is currently estimated that nearly one-quarter of the school which is mostly comprised by the old part of the school, will need to be torn down and rebuilt from the foundation up.
Poolman advised that taking steps to prevent further damages is the most important thing a property owner can do after a storm. He said that homeowners should keep records of their expenses and take photos of what they have done so they can be reimbursed for those repairs and materials later on.
Source: North Dakota Department of Insurance
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