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Wednesday, 15 July 2020 19:03

Iowa Auto Body Shops, Roofing Contractors Deal with Hail Storm Aftermath

Written by Kelly Wingert, The Messenger
Troy Waller, owner of Troy Waller Auto Body, has been the business’s “chaos coordinator” over the past couple of days as hundreds of local car owners have been calling in about hail damage sustained over the weekend. Troy Waller, owner of Troy Waller Auto Body, has been the business’s “chaos coordinator” over the past couple of days as hundreds of local car owners have been calling in about hail damage sustained over the weekend. Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

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The last few days have been “utter chaos” for Troy Waller, who owns Troy Waller Auto Body in Fort Dodge, IA.

Since a sudden hail storm hit the Fort Dodge area on July 11, Waller has been fielding hundreds of phone calls and walk-ins of local car owners concerned about the damage done to their vehicles.

 

According to the National Weather Service, hail ranging in size from quarters to golf balls rained down across Fort Dodge, pelting cars and homes across the city.

 

First thing July 13, the phones at Troy Waller Auto Body began ringing off the hook. Throughout the day, 263 local car owners had either called or stopped in the shop to schedule a damage estimate for their vehicles. On July 14, the chorus of phone ringing continued.

 

Waller said that in his time running his auto body shop, he’s never seen a hail storm cause this much broad damage. He said he’s used to dealing with a small town or a neighborhood getting hit, but this was something totally new.

 

“To get hit on a Saturday, during the day, there was no warning on it and it wasn’t forecast, so everybody was out and about,” Waller said. “It was like a perfect storm.”

 

Waller said the damage he’s seeing to vehicles is “very severe.” While some repairs will be done using a paintless dent repair method, many will need to be done with conventional repairs.

 

“That’s where it gets tricky because you’ve got to fix and replace panels,” he said.

 

Of the preliminary estimates Waller and his staff have done this week, the damage is averaging around $9,000 per vehicle.

 

While car owners have an array of auto body repair options to look into---including other local shops and even some out-of-town or out-of-state mobile repair services---Waller encourages customers to use someone local.

 

Waller partners with Dentsmart, of Waterloo, to do the paintless dent repairs, while his staff does the more complex conventional repairs.

 

“You get a warranty from Dentsmart, you get a warranty from me,” he said. “That’s the main reason you want to stick with someone local.”

 

Vehicles weren’t the only property damaged by the hail storm.

 

Robert Maddox, owner of Hahn Roofing, has received 300 or 400 calls from homeowners concerned about damage to their homes’ roofs.

 

“If it damaged your car, it damaged your roof,” he said.

 

However, he said, homeowners don’t need to make any rush to get repairs or replacements done just yet.

 

“This hail is a little unique,” Maddox said. “It’s not big enough that the untrained eye can go up there and look and see it, but it is there.”


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