Claims Pile up from Texas Storms

May 16, 2008

Back-to-back storm systems surprised Central Texas overnight on May 14-15 with intense winds and heavy hail damage in localized areas that has insurance agents and companies responding to thousand of property damage claims.

The storms originated in the hill country west of Austin. The first blew across the northern reaches of the Austin suburbs around midnight with high winds and hail. Funnel clouds were also reported.

The second storm a couple of hours later took a more southern track, battering downtown and central city areas. Hail as large as 4 inches in diameter were reported in some areas. Windows in the dome of the state capitol building were blown out as were windows in the nearby capitol annex.

The storms left some 40,000 Austin residents without power. By Friday morning around 3,000 electric utility customers were still without powere, Austin Energy reported.

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, the third largest homeowners insurer in the state, says by the afternoon of May 15 it had already received more than 1,200 claims. Insurance agents across the area also report that claims are piling up.

The storm system continued across East Texas into Louisiana on May 15. Farmers reported that it had received more than 200 claims in Baton Rouge as a result of the storm.

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