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Billings continues to pick up the pieces after two major storms

Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 22:36:27-04

BILLINGS — Many people around the Billings area still picking up pieces from two big hail storms that hit earlier this month.

Many homes were damaged by the storms, and insurance companies and the city are sifting through claims and work orders.

“We are trying to get to the people who have the worst damage first,” said State Farm Insurance agent Kari Hooper. “Blown windows and that type of thing.”

According to State Farm spokesman Brodie Hurtado, about 6,070 hail claims were filed between the two storms.

“Roofs being a total loss, vehicles being a total loss that type of thing. Damage inside of the home because of windows being blown out and glass in the carpet, water and that type of thing,” Hooper said.

These two storms almost tripled the amount of claims in Montana for the year.

In 2018, Montana had 2,672 hail claims and ranked 21st nationwide for hail damage.

The first storm on Aug. 11 caused more claims in two days than all of the claims in the entire state for 2018 combined.

“The airport took damage. We took damage to our reservoirs and such in the Heights and some of the pump stations," said Dave Mumford, director of Billings Public Works. "The biggest trouble we had with both storms was the catch basin inlets were backed up with hail. With the first and second storm, we had to do some extra work on Saturday. Brought crews in simply because there was so much the trucks had to run to the landfill and dump more often, and it put us behind schedule.”

Mumford says they aren't sure how much the damage is going to cost the city, which is self-insured.