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Hail damage extensive in BE

By Staff | Aug 5, 2018

This soybean field north of Guckeen shows heavy damage from the hail that fell on the Blue Earth area on Wednesday, July 25. The plants have been stripped by the hail, and all the leaves have now turned brown on the ground. The damage runs about three miles wide and 10 miles long, north and south of Blue Earth.

Damage to roofs, vehicles and crops from the hail during the thunderstorm on Wednesday evening, July 25, is still being assessed.

Homeowners are busy with insurance adjusters and out-of-town roofers, body shops are busy giving hail damage estimates and farmers are contacting their crop insurance providers.

“The hail started northwest of Blue Earth,” Nikki Maranowski of the Farm Service Agency in Blue Earth says. “It appears to have been three miles wide and about 10 miles long for the hardest hit area.”

Most of the city of Blue Earth was included in the narrow band of damage.

“It appears to have started just a half mile into Faribault County, with the southwest corner of Verona Township and the northwest corner of Jo Daviess as the starting point,” Maranowski says. “There is quite a bit of damage in those areas and hopefully farmers had crop insurance and are filing claims.”

She adds that the USDA and FSA do not have specific programs to cover damage, but they are charged with collecting data on the amount of damage in the area.

For many Blue Earth area homeowners, the issue is getting an insurance adjuster to inspect the possible damage, and then find a construction company to replace or repair the damaged roof.

There is not too big of a problem finding a contractor, as many out of the area roofing companies have descended on the town looking for work.

“We are trying to get all of the out-of-town contractors to come into City Hall and apply for a transient merchant permit,” city administrator Tim Ibisch says. “There is no fee for this. It just gives us a chance to get the contractors information and make sure they are licensed and bonded for work in the state of Minnesota.”

As of last week Wednesday, Ibisch says they have 20 out-of-town contractors on their list. He says the police department does a background check on all of the ones on the list, but added the city does not make any recommendations of any of the contractors.

“We encourage every resident to notify their insurance agent first,” Ibisch says. “And urge caution about signing anything, especially if they are uncomfortable doing so.”

One roofing contractor took some offense at the city putting out a notice about not signing up with a contractor until after they have checked with their insurance company.

“It is a sad thing that a lot of people in Blue Earth will not get treated fairly due to the notice that went out (from the police department),” Scott Owen of Priority Construction told the Faribault County Register. “Some people will be scared into not even filing a claim. People should always check out their contractor. The notice gave the insurance companies free reign to run over anyone without a contractor.”

Owen added that he feels people should realize the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, while the contractor works for the homeowner.

Roofs were not the only issue as many vehicles received hail damage and body shops were busy with making damage estimates.

“We have had at least 65 vehicles come in for hail damage estimates in the last four days,” said Greg Jacobs of Jake’s Body Shop in Blue Earth. “It has really been busy.”

Jacobs had a hail damage estimator on site to handle all the inspections. And, he will have a hail damage repair specialist added to his staff for a while to handle all the work.