Archive for Friday, May 9, 2008

Residents add up damage from storm

Severe weather took toll on houses, boats, trees, school property

May 9, 2008

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Storm damage estimates rolling in

The damage estimates are starting to roll in from Friday's storm, and now people are looking for some big bucks from insurance companies. Enlarge video

It's the calm after the storm, and victims are tallying up the damage.

Hayden Wood said an adjuster put the price tag between $20,000 and $25,000 for damage to his rural Stull home, 1425 E. 150 Road. Strong winds tossed a stock trailer onto the roof of the home in the early morning hours of May 2.

"It looks to me like it's going to be more than that," Wood said. "We're going to have to clean the house completely out."

The Douglas County Appraiser's Office has yet to evaluate a nearby 2,000-square-foot house that was mostly flattened by a tornado that touched down northwest of Clinton Lake.

Owner Richard Holder said the home, 1460 E. 250 Road, is valued at $240,000 and that he's waiting to meet with his insurance company about a settlement.

"The house is totaled," he said. "It definitely was a tornado."

Paul Brandenburger anticipates the tree that smashed through his Lawrence home left behind more than $10,000 in damage.

Tom Bracciano, the Lawrence school district's director for operations and facility planning, said administrators estimate the Langston Hughes School gymnasium's roof sustained $80,000 in damage when about half of its insulation and tar paper covering blew off during the storm.

School officials are waiting to see what happens to the western side of the gym floor where the roof leaked. It could cost $50,000 to replace the floor. Another option could be sanding and relining the floor for $20,000. Both the roof and the gym floor are insured, Bracciano said, and administrators are working with the insurance company.

Five boats being serviced at Arnie's Boat Sales and Service were damaged, including a pontoon boat that was totaled after rolling over, said Arnie Morgison, shop owner. He's also waiting on damage estimates for four roofs and several trees on his property north of Lawrence.

"It's going to be high," Morgison said.

Douglas County emergency management officials are asking people to call them if they received damage from Friday morning's storm. So far, no damage reports have been phoned in. The department's number is 838-2460.

Emergency management director Teri Smith said it's clear there wasn't enough damage in the county to qualify for individual emergency disaster declaration, which would require between 100 and 150 uninsured homes be destroyed.

"When there's damage like this, and it's broad, : you wouldn't meet the dollar figures," Smith said.

Smith said she would like to hear about any damage, which can be reported to the department of emergency management at 832-5259. Area tree services have kept busy tending to trees that were uprooted or damaged by the storm.

"It's as widespread as can be," said Philip Schonberg, of Schonberg's Tree Service. "The trees took quite a licking."

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Director Ernie Shaw said an estimated 400 to 500 truckloads of brush were dropped off at the city's drop-off site, 1420 E. 11th St., which was open for free unloading for three days after the storm. The city will also pick up brush that's bundled and placed next to residential trash containers.

- Staff writer George Diepenbrock contributed to this report.

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