Update: Golf ball-sized hail reported in area; homes in Manchester wait for power

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 18, 2013 

Update (Tuesday, 10:31 a.m.):

More than 1,000 homes are still waiting for power to be turned back on in Manchester after a serious thunderstorm Monday night moved through the area.

City clerk Kris Price said the city has seen mostly fallen trees as of Tuesday morning, but are still trying to determine whether any buildings took damage during the storm.

Georgia Power said more than 10,000 homes lost power during Monday night's storm, but that most regained power before midnight. Twenty-five homes remaining homes are expected to get power back before lunch today.

Original story:

Insurance agents and claims adjusters expect to be busy Tuesday morning as Chattahoochee Valley residents survey the damage from a significant thunderstorm Monday night that produced large hail.

Golf ball-size hail was reported in Smiths Station, while quarter-size hail fell in downtown Columbus.

What appeared to be the worst of the storm moved through about 7 p.m., lasting almost a half hour.

The string of storms that brought the damage stretched from Mississippi into Georgia.

Rick Hill has been a State Farm agent or adjuster for 22 years. He was working shortly after the storm cleared out, though he did not get any hail at his home in Sears Woods. But Facebook photos made it clear there was large hail in East Alabama and parts of Columbus.

“I have already talked to two of my customers tonight,” Hill said.

Golf ball-size hail can damage to roofs and cars, Hill said.

“Most roofs are made to withstand pea-size hail, but golf ball-size hail can do significant damage to roofs and cars,” Hill said.

Those with damage — especially to their homes — need to make sure they protect themselves from potential fraud, Hill said.

“The thing to remember is that most of the roofers will be slammed tomorrow,” Hill said. “If you have holes in your roof and need to make emergency repairs, do it. But if you have just had some granules come off your shingles, don’t be hasty. The thing that I tell people is to be leery of the first person to knock on your door.”

One way to protect yourself is to seek referrals from neighbors, family and friends.

“Get estimates,” he said. “Get at least two opinions. The more the better.”

While it sometimes is difficult to tell if you have hail damage on the roof of your home, it is much easier with a car, Hill said.

Have pictures of hail? Email Metro Editor Stephanie Pedersen at spedersen@ledger-enquirer.com, and we’ll put them online.

Metro Editor Stephanie Pedersen contributed to this report.

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