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Texas Hailstorm Damage Continues To Be Assessed

By Brittany Jackson, Abilene Reporter-News, Texas
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

June 18--As reports of damage from Thursday's storm continue to pour in, people wait for insurance adjusters to estimate repair costs.

Three Abilene Independent School District elementary schools received roof damage. Repairs will cost the district at least $250,000, the amount of the district's deductible, said Phil Ashby, communications director.

"We do not have a full assessment of the cost, but it'll be considerably more," he said.

The damaged elementary schools were Ortiz at 2550 Vogel St., Martinez at 1250 Merchant St., and Taylor at 916 E.N. 13th St.

Summer school, though, is not affected by the damages. Although Martinez houses elementary summer school, repairs will not interfere with classes, Ashby said. Taylor and Ortiz are closed for the summer.

Hardin-Simmons University and Abilene Christian University were also hard hit and are still working to assess damage.

James Stone, executive director of university relations at HSU, said windows were boarded up and the campus was cleaned over the weekend to prepare for Super Summer, a weeklong convention organized by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, that began Monday.

"Our first concern was the safety of our personnel and those kids on campus," he said.

Corey Ruff, executive director of facilities and campus management at ACU, is also busy as more damage is found.

"For the most part, we made it through the storm pretty well compared to some people," he said. "It was wild."

About 26 buildings on campus and 20 rental properties sustained damage, from broken windows to smashed roofs, as well as about 40 university vehicles.

One of the properties, University Park Apartments, received an onslaught of hail.

Luke Pursley, director of leasing, said the complexes would most likely have to replace roofs, despite doing so just a few weeks before the storm.

"It could have been worse," he said, "but we definitely had a lot of damage done."

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In addition to the roof damage, about 30 windows were broken and many students' cars were wrecked.

Pursley said maintenance fixed the first floor windows the night of the storm, but boarded up what couldn't be fixed before sunset.

Several other housing complexes were also wrecked by the storm.

Mark Twaddle, general manager at The Grove at 2702 N. Judge Ely Blvd, said roofs would have to be replaced soon.

"We are working diligently to get everything fixed," he said.

The north side of the apartment complex took the brunt of the storm, with at least 15 windows damaged and now covered with plywood.

Holes in the complex's walls can be seen from the parking lot, and damaged vehicles remain parked where they were hit.

The Residence at Heritage Park at 2789 East Lake Road and La Ventana Apartments at 2109 State Highway 351 also sustained broken windows.

As for city of Abilene property, Leah Mazzarelli, communication and media relations manager, said 200 vehicles and several buildings were damaged.

No dollar estimate has been made, as reports of damage continue to surface.

Deputy Chief Larry Bell of the Abilene Fire Department said an overall cost of repairs at Station Four at Interstate 20 and Stamford hasn't been determined yet.

The station sustained the most damage from the storm, as Bell said, "it has been the biggest challenge to us."

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(c)2014 the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas)

Visit the Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas) at www.reporternews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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