Shop owners pick up the pieces after Thursday storm
|By Brittany Jackson, Abilene Reporter-News, Texas|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The morning after the hailstorm ravaged town on Thursday evening, owners were finally able to assess the damage done to their facilities. The north side of town seemed to have gotten the brunt of the storm with broken windows, shattered signs and rooms soaked with water.
Although businesses sustained damage themselves, they still had customers to serve.
Budget Car Rental rented all of its cars and is waiting for more to arrive, and
He said 15 to 18 windows were broken on the second floor, resulting in water leaks as the storm raged on. The heating system was ruined by the hailstorm, and his signs were shattered.
"We're seeing the whole downtown community pitching together to help the (Children's Art and Literacy) festival," he said.
About 20 windows and skylights were broken in addition to the building's neon signs.
"I would say we emerged well," she said. "We're just happy everyone is safe."
Several church buildings were not as fortunate.
"We're in seven digits right now," he said. "We're probably around a million, and that's only a guess. It's too early to tell."
The clay roofing on the sanctuary is wrecked, and the flat roofs damaged. He said many skylights and windows throughout the facilities were shattered by hail.
The steeple and roof were completed about four to five months ago after being smashed by another hailstorm over Easter in 2011. Stewart said the cost of repairs has not been calculated, but the previous steeple had considerably less damage and cost
"We are just so thankful it wasn't anything worse," he said. "It's just property, and property can be replaced."
Not everyone in the city suffered such extreme damage, though.
She said many children and families rushed to the library when the rain began, narrowly avoiding the hail.
"I am so happy no children were injured, because it could have been awful," she said. "That's what concerned me most. We were very, very lucky here."
"What happens now is the roofers and the storm chasers come in, and that's the worst part. They're like transients," he said. "But it'll help our economy. Things are moving now."
Schools affected by the storm included
HSU sustained cosmetic damages to several of its residence halls, the library and class halls, according to a news release from
E'Vonne Gipson and
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