January windstorm not as costly as many expected

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — January’s windstorm was not as costly or destructive as many might have anticipated.

Despite a lot of damaged roofs, downed trees and numerous power outages across the city, the windstorm was minor compared to last July’s hailstorm.

The state measures natural disasters in terms of dollars. According to The Gazette, January’s unusual windstorm did not produce enough property damage to be qualified as a disaster.

A disaster must reach a $25 million threshold before the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association begins to track it. In comparison, July’s hailstorm totaled more than $350 million in damage making it the 6th costliest disaster in state history.

“When they started blowing off I knew right away I was going to be in for it,” said Richard Martin.

Martin lives in the Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhood and is one of dozens of home owners still in the process of repairing his roof.

“This is a clay tile that’s been on the roof for 12 years and I’m guessing, we tried to weigh them, but they’re under 5 pounds, I think they’re about three-and-a-half pounds each, but they were blowing off like paper plates,” said Martin.

The hurricane force winds didn’t produce the property damage most people were expecting, meaning the number of insurance claims wasn’t all that high.

“We actually thought that we would get way more but surprisingly not as much because once people started assessing their damage, they realized it wasn’t over their deductible,” said Napoya Jones, the office manager with American Family Insurance.

To put it in perspective, July’s hailstorm triggered more than 80,000 claims for the region. Jones say her office filed maybe 1,000 claims which despite initial damage, doesn’t even come close to the hail.

“The hail took out siding, furniture, roofs, decking,” said Jones. “Compared to the wind might have blown over a few tiles from the roof.”

Regardless, many roofing companies in town are backed up for weeks.

Martin says he’s dealt with wind storms before but nothing to this extent.

“Because we live so close to Cheyenne Mountain we get the stronger winds, I believe, but this was by far the most intense in 12 years,” said Martin.

Ultimately it’s up to the homeowner to decide if the amount of damage is worth filing a claim but high deductibles could be the reason many people chose not to file.

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