Storm drops golf-ball-size hail on county

PNT Staff

Monday night’s hailstorm caused some damage in Roosevelt County, but the storm was small compared to some from years past.
“There were some golf-ball-sized (pieces of hail) here in Dora,” said Becky Fraze, a secretary for the Dora Fire Department. “We pruned the trees around here. The damage to the wheat crop maybe was minimal, at least that’s what I had heard.”
Fraze said that the biggest concern was for wheat farmers, who are just about to harvest their crop. Any precipitation is a concern during harvesting, but hail represents the biggest threat.
“At this time of year, we have a danger of it,” Fraze said. “It seems when the wheat gets ready to harvest, anybody holds their breath when we see any clouds.”
Fraze said that during a Monday night meeting in Dora, a New Mexico State Police trooper came in and had extensive damage to his vehicle, including damage to a headlight and a crack to the windshield.
Lt. Gary Ross of the New Mexico State Police said that he had not seen the hail damage to two vehicles late Tuesday afternoon, but that both vehicles were still in good enough shape to be driven.
When a hailstorm strikes, damage is usually done to cars, either through cracking a window or denting the car body. David Bonner, who owns a State Farm Agency in Portales, said that hailstorms are a “nightmare” for insurance agencies.
“The biggest thing is that everything else in the agency goes on hold,” Bonner said. “You’re not talking about the normal workday stuff, you’re not talking about changes in policy.
“You are simply putting out fires and making sure people know you’re getting their information to the company and that the company is (going to be) contacting them. You’re really a go-between.”
Bonner said that for this particular hailstorm, he had about five or six claims. The worst storm he remembers was in 1996. He and his office staff worked on 400-500 claims that day.
“When that happens,” Bonner said, “you know it because people show up at your door at 8 a.m.”