Damage from hail storm may exceed $400 million

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 14 at 6:46 PM

DALLAS - The hail storm is shaping up to be a short but expensive event.

The Insurance Council of Texas now says the cost of the storm may exceed $400 million, which is more than the tab for the April tornadoes in Arlington and Forney.

Much of the damage was to cars. Based on conversations with major insurance carriers, News 8 estimated more than 10,000 people have already filed automotive claims.

"It sounded like a war," said Jay Knearem, a Lakewood resident, describing the noise of the hail pounding down.

Thursday, he was ready to put the damage behind him, taking his car to Woodard's Body Shop in Dallas. But Woodard's was so busy, they turned him away with an estimate of $3,500 to repair his car.

At this point the shop is only taking cars that cannot be driven.       

"I'm going to wait a couple weeks because everybody is jammed right now," he said. "That's what they say. It's the second place I've been to."

"We have been swamped,” said Vicki Johnson, with Woodard’s.

She said customers will need more than a little patience before they can put all the pieces back together.

An industry group told News 8, most cars will be totaled because the hail was so large.

The insurance companies have designated this a "catastrophe,” and many are sending in mobile claims centers. Some will be here as early as Friday.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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