|Many months ago, residents of Blair, Nebraska were sent sprinting for cover when a sudden hail storm dropped baseball-sized hail on their heads. Now, many of them are still working to repair their damaged windows, siding, cars, and roofs.
That wouldn’t be remarkable except for one small fact — the hail storm occurred on June 3, 2014.
A year later, you can still see the damage from the storm all over the town, which is about 20 minutes north from Omaha. On average, U.S. homeowners spend 1% to 4% of their house’s value each year on repairs and regular maintenance, a cost which only goes up with the age of the home. In Blair, the epic hail storm cost homeowners more than $10 million in home improvement costs so far.
Last June, Blair resident Joan Rosenbaum was sitting on her porch when the storm hit her neighborhood. She says she never suspected how much damage a severe hail storm could cause.
“I looked around and thought, wow, I really got it, I didn’t think I got hit that hard until I got outside and got to looking,” she said.
Although Rosenbaum finished repairs in a few months thanks to a dutiful grandson, some of her neighbors have been working all year to install new roofs and siding for homes on her street. Large holes still dot the sides of her neighbor’s houses. The Blair mayor says the city has already issued thousands of building permits, and officials receive more every month.
“Time goes by fast, but it doesn’t seem like it’s been a year,” said Rosenbaum. “I think more and more so, everybody’s gotten to be a big family.”
Her neighbor Justin Lammers spent eight months repairing $20,000 in damage to his home and garage; he still hasn’t gotten to his privacy fence and landscaping yet. A nearby car dealership had more than 4,000 cars severely wrecked by the same storm.