A little more than a month since a surprise hail storm, the extent of the damage is starting to emerge.
Compared to the pummeling the area received since the last hail storms in 2011, the one on May 23 inflicted relatively light damage.
“We are up to 28 re-roofing permits since the hail storm in May,” said Fort Mill Town Planning director Joe Cronin.
“I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that all re-roofing permits were hail-related, but I think it would be safe to assume that most, if not all, were related to the storm. This number is a little higher than normal, but nowhere near the deluge we saw after the storm a few years ago.”
The 2011 hail storms caused $45 million in damage in the state, officials said, resulting in non-stop work for roofing, siding and car repair companies. Cronin said after the 2011 storms, the town received an average of 300 repair permit requests a month for about six months.
The National Weather Service said the worst of this year’s storm was in the Rock Hill area, though Fort Mill and Indian Land also were hard hit. In some instances, hail the size of golf balls and softballs was reported.
Auto repair shops and roofers agreed while they are busy, the amount of damage isn’t enough to warrant a swarm of “stormchasers,” who come into an area and offer to make repairs.
“The local guys can handle this,” said Wylie Totherow of Totherow’s Roofing & Siding of Fort Mill. “We don’t need outside help.”
Auto repair shop owners say business was up right after the May 23 storm with people coming into get estimates. In some cases, there were broken windshields or damaged sunroofs, said Denny Ramkissoon, owner of Precision Dent Repair, a Fort Mill-based mobile operation that offers paintless dent repair.
Cronin said residents who are paying contractors to repair damage should take care to make sure they hire someone licensed to do business in Fort Mill. If that contractor is properly licensed, he or she will have a town-issued decal on their vehicle.
“It’s a cautionary tale,” Cronin said.
“Some people pay someone a deposit and the work’s never done – they never see them again – or the work isn’t up to standards. We tell people to be vigilant. Look for the decal.”
Herald Business Editor Don Worthington contributed.