August 8, 2014 3:42 pm
Updated: August 8, 2014 7:15 pm

What to do if your property is damaged during a storm

CALGARY- Insurance companies are working through thousands of claims, following a severe storm that tore through Airdrie and other communities north of Calgary on Thursday.

There is still no dollar figure of how much damage the pelting hail and huge wind gusts caused, but it’s expected to be in the millions. Despite hard work from Alberta’s Hail Suppression team, they say it was the “worst day of the year.”

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“All in all, there were at least six severe hail storms. Three of them hit Airdrie, other storms were in Rocky Mountain House, Eckville, Sylvan Lake, Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds, and we were kept very busy,” explains project leader Terry Krauss. “It’s the most number of several storms at one time that I can remember.”

READ MORE: Several severe storms strikes Airdrie

He says they had 10 seeding flights flying for a total of 20 hours on Thursday, from 2 p.m. until after midnight. While there was still extensive damage, Krauss says their efforts prevented the situation from being even worse.

“Without our seeding there would have been more water available to make those largest [hail] stones even larger.”

Meantime, the Calgary call centre for Intact Insurance has brought in extra staff to deal with the flood of claims. The VP of claims says their number one priority is emergencies.

“People who have blown out windows, sunroofs on their vehicles, skylights in their houses, where there’s emergency response required on the ground,” explains Darren Godfrey. “We’re looking to provide that response first, then we have our call centres here providing further support in terms of the non-emergency work.”

They have also set up temporary facilities in Airdrie to start working on vehicle repairs.

Those who were impacted by the storm are urged to contact their insurance company immediately.

“I would expedite that phone call as quickly as possible, because from the sounds of the magnitude again, the adjusting departments and the adjusting personnel around the province, it sounds like they’re going to be stretched again,” suggests Ross Bucsis from Palliser Insurance.

It’s also important to keep all receipts, and try to mitigate further damage.

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