Damage from April 17 Texas Storm Exceeds $200 Million

May 15, 2008

Insured losses from severe storms on April 17 that hammered areas west of Fort Worth, Texas, with softball size hail now exceed $200 million, the Insurance Council of Texas reported.

An estimated 33,000 homeowner claims and 21,000 automobile claims have been turned into insurance companies.

Mineral Wells and Weatherford appeared to have received the blunt of the storm.

Capt. Mike McAllister of the Mineral Wells Police Department said he had never seen a hail storm last as long as this one. “Literally, every roof in Mineral Wells was heavily damaged,” McAllister said.

McAllister said his city patrol cars were dented and windshields broken. “The hail stones were as hard as rocks and when they hit the pavement, they didn’t break.”

The hailstorm moved eastward into Weatherford and Parker County where several automobile dealerships were hit. Jerry’s Chevrolet in Hudson Oaks reported claims on 2,000 new and used vehicles.

Another storm one week later on April 23, produced tornadoes, straight-lines winds and hail over a 300 mile stretch of land from Lamesa in West Texas to Dallas. Lamesa and Crowley near Fort Worth were hardest hit.

Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, said severe thunderstorms have pounded the state on at least four occasions this year. “Roofers and body shops are very busy right now,” Hanna said. “We urge all policyholders to work with local, reputable businesses when making repairs.”

Hanna said he spoke with a Fort Worth roofer who said he wore a size 11 shoe. The man was able to place his foot inside the damage from one hail stone that struck a roof in Parker County.

Severe storms hit central Texas overnight on May 14, bringing high winds, heavy rain and hail.

Source: Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org.

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