Airdrie hail storm declared a ‘catastrophe event’

CALGARY-A vicious storm that hit north of Calgary last week has been declared a ‘catastrophe event.’

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) says the hailstorms that nailed Airdrie and area on August 7 and 8 caused more than $25 million damage. Windshields were smashed, house siding pelted and vehicles parked outside at the time were left with huge dents.

“Rarely do we see windows being taken out, I haven’t seen too many storms where the windows get broken,” said Peter Green from Airdrie Autobody. “The storm was just more severe than average, because you see windows, sunroofs even cracking…that’s not standard.”

He estimates that 75 per cent of the cars in Airdrie were damaged by hail from the August storms, as well as during a similar storm on July 17. About half of them are write-offs.

“It all depends on the year and the make of your vehicle. If you have a six or seven year old vehicle with say, 150K, chances are it’s not going to be repairable.”

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Autobody repair shops have been flooded with calls, and it could take months before they’re all repaired. Intact Insurance has set up a special repair centre in Airdrie to deal with all the hail claims.

Depending on the insurer, there is usually a two-year time limit for getting a vehicle fixed. However, Green says it could take up to a year for some vehicles to even get looked at, due to the amount of claims.

-With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo

WATCH: Damage from the August 7 and 8 hail storms was wide reaching, and very devastating. Here’s a round-up of Global News reports.

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