Huge hail storm damages cars, homes, wallets

TALE OF THE TAPE — Karen and Ralph Rode of Doss recovered several hail stones that measured more than two inches across from Thursday night’s storm. They reported “extensive” damage to trees and other vegetation, as well as having several windows broken in their home and garage. But worst of all, they said they couldn’t tell how much rain they received because their rain gauges were broken in the storm. — Photo courtesy of Karen and Ralph Rode

By Danny Hirt

The storm that struck Gillespie County last Thursday night, May 9, produced a wide range of damage due to the heavy rains, powerful winds and the destructive force of hail stones.

Local insurance agencies reported a great number of calls since Friday morning that were directly related to storm damage.

Greg Kaderli, manager of the property and liability department at Frantzen, Kaderli and Klier Insurance said his company fielded more than 180 just on Friday, with an additional 72 or so coming in on Monday.

In all, his company has received more than 400 inquiries and reports regarding damage to home, auto and commercial properties since the hail storm finished its local destruction.

With 35 years of experience in the insurance business, Kaderli said he knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep until he’d surveyed the damage, which he did Thursday night after the storm had cleared out.

Thursday’s weather event was the second worst he’s seen in the Fredericksburg area since he first entered the insurance business 35 years ago.

Kaderli said he’s able to remember the exact date of his all-time nastiest hail storm — May 15, 1989 — “the day that will live forever in my mind.” At that time, hail fell on parts of Gillespie County that ranged between 2½-3½ inches in diameter.

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