Twister Leaves Body of Work for Auto Shops

New Mexico automobile body repair shops have been busy repairing vehicles battered by a massive March 23 storm that walloped Clovis and Logan with tornadoes.

Richard Dindinger, manager of Bender Body Shop, said his crews have been replacing vehicle roofs and doors damaged by flying debris. His crew is overworked and he could use an extra hand, but things have gone smoothly.

“We’ve had about 30 cars in the last two weeks, which is twice as much as we usually see,” Dindinger said.

The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association estimated the price of last month’s tornado at $16.5 million. Executive director Carole Walker said that includes damage sustained to homes and vehicles in Clovis, Logan and Roswell.

Nearly 5,200 homeowner and auto claims have been filed, Walker said.

“While the tornado damage is more devastating, the hailstones battered more cars and homes, adding up to more expensive, widespread damage,” Walker said.

She said there have been 3,600 auto claims, more than double the 1,500 homeowner claims that have been reported. Hail damage usually is covered under an auto policy if the policyholder has comprehensive coverage.

Deloyce Brothers, owner of All-Star Dent, has seen some hail-damaged vehicles, with about 20 customers over the past two weeks.

“It isn’t really a high number, considering the storm we had,” Brothers said.