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DENTON -- When you walk into some neighborhoods in Denton, some homes have signs in front of their yards, others don't.

Houses claimed by storms and hail last week are now being claimed by contractors.

Those lawns that aren't marked are 'targets,' according to Randy Kempf, who was getting his roof checked by a contractor.

In the neighborhood, Mother Nature's wrath was on full display; windows were broken and roof shingles were pierced by last week's tornado-producing storms.

On Wednesday, the Insurance Council of Texas estimated the storms caused about $300 million in damage. They reported about 24,000 vehicles and 12,000 homes damaged.

How bad is it?

'If I'm not busy for the next two years, I'm in the wrong line of work,' said contractor Chip Moore. 'That bad.'

But those looking for a quick fix may be disappointed by some opportunistic contractors canvassing their neighborhood who may be gone the next week.

'There's big money in roofing, that is what it boils down to,' said Fernando Calderon of SPS General Contracting Services, who is with one of the few local companies on the block.

The Better Business Bureau recommends people do their research on companies before they sign contracts. But it can be very difficult sorting out the good companies from the bad, which prey on the elderly and sometimes even come from out-of-state to the promise of a damaging storm.

'They'll say they're local and they don't have any references for any work they've done in the area,' Calderon said.

Randy Kempf is tired of answering the door and seeing fliers and business cards on his doorstep. He eventually had to put up a sign asking contractors to leave.

'During dinner and evenings and afternoons... It just never stopped,' Kempf said.

Victims already to Mother Nature, these neighbors don't plan on being victimized again.

For any tips to avoid being scammed, click here to go the Better Business Bureau website.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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