LEANDER, Texas - There’s no doubt that the patio equipment at Beth Irwin‘s Leander home took a beating. How her roof made out was the big unknown Friday.
"What’s next is to go ahead and get that roof inspected and see if we have any damage to the roof. We’ve had several people in the neighborhood tell us that they’re expecting to hear the worst," said Irwin.
A video recorded by the Irwin’s is why they think they’ll be getting a new roof. Their backyard pool was bombarded.
"When you hear those first couple of links if you been around Texas for a while do you know what that sound is and then you just press yourself and try to figure out how bad it’s gonna be it sounded like we were under attack," said Irwin.
Next door, hail cracked the front windshield to Brian Hudson’s truck and dented a sports car that his son attempted to move. "Yeah he wanted to go save his car and I said no son, we will take care of the car we can’t take care of your skull," Hudson said.
Cynthia Garza learned that lesson. The hail which was big enough to smash the back window to her SUV also hit her. "I just started getting pelted with cup size with golf ball size hail balls and I have a bruise up here, it’s not a big bump I’m fine. I tried to put the comforter over the top of my windshield," she said.
The 2021 storm season is kicking off after a costly winter storm. Chris Pilcic with State Farm says the payout from his company was a record. "Last year we ranked number one and hail losses, and really the season is just beginning, about $474 million paid just by State Farm in 2020 for hail losses," he said.
So far this week State Farm has received about 3,000 storm damage claims, with most coming from Central Texas counties.
"Some of the areas that were most hard-hit were Llano then parts of North Austin including Georgetown, Hutto, Round Rock, and Pflugerville. And we’re working with the customers right now to help them with recovery," said Pilcic.
It’s estimated Thursday’s hail storm ran about 90 miles. It rolled over populated areas from San Saba County, crossed I-35 stopping traffic, and finally died out east of Elgin.
When asked if rates are going to go up because of what happened last year and how this year is setting up, Pilcic said. "It’s not one storm or one season that determines rates, there are a lot of factors, we look at catastrophes over a couple of decades. So it’s really not one storm or one season that has a direct influence on rates."
Pilcic said a lot of claims are being done now online and on smartphones. He doesn’t know of any discounts for investing in protective coverings. However, getting one or coming up with some type of covering could help.
Donna Broden who lives in Leander covered up her car with blankets, but timing was critical. "I put them on too late but I prevented any more damage possibly," said Broden.
Shortly after Thursday’s storm moved out, roofing crews moved in.
"So one thing I highly recommend and this is mainly for warranty purposes is make sure you find someone local. So if they have a workmanship warranty and you need to file a claim against them for the warranty you wanna make sure they can respond and help you with that leak. And the other thing is make sure they are insured," said Chris Dunn with Reliable Roofing.
Checking references is also important because a fast fix to a fast-moving storm can certainly lead to lingering problems.