‘Big as baseballs’ hailstorm causes $400 million in damage in Texas

Whether it was the size of golf balls, as some claimed, or as big as baseballs, as others contended, the hail that fell on the Dallas area Wednesday was no small matter: Damage is estimated at more than $400 million.

Most of that damage was done to cars, some of which looked like they had been riddled by a spray of machine-gun bullets.

Texas is a top-10 state when it comes to hail, ranking behind Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota.

In 2011, the amount the industry paid out for hail damage to vehicles was three times as high as in any of the three years prior. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety based the rankings on claims filed in each state.

Maryland ranked 27th last year, Virginia was 33rd, and the District had no hail claims.


Steven Carpe sinks knee-deep in a mall parking lot after a hail and rain storm hit Colorado Springs in June. (Christian Murdock/AP)

Even where hail is rare, damage can run into real money. In the past four years, Marylanders received $34 million for damage done to vehicles by the frozen pellets. In Virginia, the insurance tab came to $14.7 million. In the District, it was a mere $17,402.

Texas racked up $399 million in claims. Hail claims nationwide totaled $2.3 billion.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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