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Dealerships manage the aftermath of huge hail storm in Calgary
Published Friday, August 3, 2018 4:51PM MDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 4, 2018 10:45AM MDT
A pair of severe thunderstorms in Calgary on Thursday evening resulted in unusually large hail stones coming down on cars and homes, and now auto dealers are out assessing the damage to their fleets.
Tower Dodge, on Macleod Trail, says that all of their 525 cars on the lot were at risk in the storm and they are now going over each and every one with their hail team to assess the cost of damages.
“We’ll get the appraisers on site to look at the vehicles, see what it’s going to cost to fix them or we are going to offer significant savings to the public and go from there,” said sales manager Patrick McCutcheon.
He says that he was at work when the storm hit on Thursday afternoon.
“I was in my office and I definitely heard it from outside. Most of my staff were moving around and came in and said I should see what was going on outside and I took a look and that’s when I saw the really, really big ones come down.”
He says the dealership uses a company called PDR Hail Team to help them look over ever square centimeter of the vehicles to ensure all the damage is recorded properly.
Jonas Dorosz, with PDR, says their work helps speed up the process with insurance companies along a bit.
He adds that it’s not just dealerships where they are working right now either. They’ve been busy with a lot of other claims both business and personal.
“Very busy, the phone’s ringing off the hook. There are a lot of broken windows in the south. We have personal claims and then we deal with dealerships too.”
Calgary has seen a few severe thunderstorms in the past little while and CTV Calgary Weather Specialist Kevin Stanfield says that it all has to do with how the air has been flowing.
“We had a big bowl and as the air rose along that bowl, that was causing a big amount of uplift. The air underneath that was forced to rise and created 40 to 60 km/h wind shear, a measure of our upward motion,” he says. “As these hail balls try to fall to the Earth, the upper wind forces them back up and allows them to continue accumulating. That can lead to severe hail.”
Stanfield says that that air pattern also stayed over the City of Calgary for a few days but has since dissipated.
Now, for the vehicles on the lot at Tower Dodge, McCutcheon says they will be offered to customers as-is in many cases, marked down as hail-damaged, while others will be repaired. He knows some customers will be interested in buying the damaged stock.
“It depends on what you’re looking for as a customer. If you’re looking for a very heavy significant discount on a vehicle that you’re not too concerned [about damage]. There are some vehicles that were hit a bit harder than others. We will be taking the money that we receive from the settlement and then applying it to each vehicle.”
According to reports, Thursday’s storm produced hail stones just a bit larger than a golf ball. The largest sized stones on the scale are about the size of grapefruits.