St. Patrick’s Day 2016 was a $600 million day of hail damage in Tarrant County. And one year later, while most of the damage has been repaired, insurance headaches and unfinished settlements remain.
The March 17, 2016 storm pulverized car windows, ruined thousands of roofs, killed several flamingos and other birds at the Fort Worth Zoo, and shattered the glass roofs of five greenhouses at Brad Eberling’s 5th Avenue Greenhouses.
“Close to $200,000 in damage,” he told us on the one year anniversary of the storm, which when combined with subsequent hail storms in Plano, Wylie and San Antonio within the next month amounted to more than $4 billion in damage – the second most expensive storm season in Texas history according to the Insurance Council of Texas. The record holder is still Hurricane Ike in 2008.
“There’s probably not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the ramifications of it,” Eberling said.
It took nearly 7 months to get the roofs repaired and to recover from the damage to his plant inventory. What wasn’t sliced to bits by shards of glass from the shattered roof was pulverized by the golf ball-sized hail.
And, while many of the homes in the Fairmount neighborhood of Fort Worth are sporting new roofs this one year later, not everything has been repaired. In fact roofing companies are still advertising on-line specifically for repairs related to the 2016 storm. Brad Eberling did get his greenhouses repaired, they’re now protected by a tougher Lexan polycarbonate material. But his insurance company did not foot the entire bill.
“We’re still having some issues with the insurance company right now. So, it’s not totally behind us. It’s still on our mind, so to speak.”
”Maybe when it’s all said and done it will be one of those blessings in disguise,” he said.
But a year later he admits….not quite yet.