Large Hail Damages Cars, Homes In Watertown

WATERTOWN, S.D. – It was a loud one last night as a line of severe thunderstorms moved across the eastern side of the state. For those in Watertown, hail bigger than golf balls fell from the sky, leaving some major dents on homes and cars.

“Every hood is hit, one side is usually hit pretty hard,” says manager at Krantz Motor City, Jake Krantz.

The proof is in these dents, and also photos many took showing just how big the hail was in Watertown.

“I came to town and by golly, everything was hit,” says Krantz.

Krantz  says he didn’t realize a bad storm was coming until he saw posts of it on social media. Including a video near the Watertown Family Aquatic Center, right across the street from his car shop.

“We didn’t know anything was going to hit so we didn’t pull anything in,” explains Krantz.

Fifteen cars ready for sale, are all left looking with damage.

“We still have to talk to our adjusters to see where we go and all the other fun stuff,” says Krantz. “Everything is still for sale, but who knows what the price is at the moment.”

Assessing is what’s keeping Mark Fiechtner with Premier Systems busy.

“We’ve been all over Watertown looking at damage ranging from shingles to steel roofs to siding, broken windows,” says Fiechtner.

Out of the dozen homes Fiechtner has inspected, all had bad damage.

“The house that were looking at right now, with the broken windows and damaged siding is probably one of the worse I’ve seen so far,” he says.

So how much money could the aftermath cost?

“It’s tough to say,” says Fiechtner. “But if you take the average price of a roof at anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 times hundreds of roofs, it could be well into the millions.”

The southwest part of Watertown received the majority of the damage last night. Premier Systems says they’ve received more than 200 calls from people asking for house assessments in Watertown alone.

They say it’s important for homeowners to get someone to check out their damage before they make a claim. If someone makes a claim but there is not enough valid damage, it will negatively affect their insurance rate.

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