Homeowners hit hard by Feb. hail storm now making repairs

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Homeowners hit hard by hail in February are having repairs done quickly. State Farm, the state's largest insurer, reports it has received more than 400 claims.

Roofing companies are working a full schedule to keep up with the demand.

On February 23rd, what appeared to be a sheet of ice covered Ascension Parish. Strong gusts and hail, some close to two inches, fell from the sky.

Norma Cardwell said it sounded like rocks were being dumped on her roof.

"We both jumped out of bed at five o'clock in the morning and came out and looked, and there was like golf ball-sized ice, hail covering the yard," Cardwell said.

A different sound has now taken over the Prairie Oaks neighborhood. Contractors are rolling out new roofs to replace the hundreds riddled with hail damage. It is hard to find a rooftop that is not under construction.

"Within the first week we had over one hundred customers call us, just in this specific area," Andrew Garcia said.

Gracia Roof Residential Manager, Andrew Garcia, said insurance adjusters responded quickly to their customers' claims, which has allowed roofers to get to work fast.

"We are doing at least four roof installations a day, and these are pretty decent sized houses," Garcia said.

Christ Brantley, Owner of Premier Construction said his men have been busy too. He expects it won't quiet down anytime soon.

"When people wonder, hey do I have damage? It knocked out divots in shingles, but the time the water hits those divots and expand rapidly, your 30 year shingles are down to a ten year roof," Brantley said.

Cardwell said her roof was just three years old when Mother Nature picked it apart.

"We had not seen anything like that before, nor had our neighbors," Cardwell said.

The hail storm ago damaged vehicles on at least two major car lots in Gonzales, including 75 percent of the vehicles at Price Leblanc Nissan. They are advertising a 'hail sale." The manager told 9News most of the vehicle damage is minor, amounting to about $300.

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