Amarillo Storm Losses Total $175 Million

August 12, 2004

The storm that struck the western portion of Amarillo on June 21 caused $175 million in insured losses making it the sixth costliest wind and hailstorm in Texas history, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.

“The Amarillo storm was so destructive because of the size and shape of the hail that tore through homes and businesses,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the ICT. “The hailstorm was followed by heavy winds and rain that made a catastrophic situation worse.”

Texas insurance companies received approximately 32,000 claims from the storm with each claim averaging more than $5,000. Hail as large as grapefruit was reported, while many residents said the hail was discus-shaped penetrating the roofs of homes and commercial buildings. Hundreds of new cars and trucks exposed on the lots of car dealerships were also damaged.

Insurance agents said the storm’s high winds had hailstones blowing in sideways knocking out the windows of vehicles and residences. In addition to replacing new roofs and vehicle repairs, other insured losses included the cleanup of glass breakage and damaged floors and carpets.

The Property Claim Services of the Insurance Service Office (ISO) verified Amarillo’s total damage cost.

With any catastrophic storm a number of people come in from outside the city to assist residents with repairs. Hanna recommended Amarillo residents ask building contractors for references and verify them. Insist on an itemized contract in writing and pay only as work is completed. For assistance, residents should contact the Better Business Bureau, local police or Chamber of Commerce.

The Insurance Council of Texas keeps track of the state’s costliest and deadliest storms in the state. The costliest hailstorm in the country struck the Dallas/Fort Worth area on May 5, 1995, causing $1.1 billion in damages.

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