Colorado Residents Cleaning Up After Tornadoes, Hail

Colorado residents affected by powerful storms that struck the northern part of the state about 80 miles north of Denver on May 22, 2008, are beginning to sort through the wreckage and pick up the pieces. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, preliminary estimates of the damage caused by the tornadoes, hail and heavy rain are adding up to about 20,000 claims and $147 million to cars and homes, making it the state’s fourth-most expensive insured disaster.

The estimated 8,000 property claims range from glass and roof damage to homes ripped from their foundations. The estimated auto claims include everything from hail damage to completely destroyed vehicles.

“It is common for Colorado to get hit with hundred-million-dollar hail storms because they can cause damage to such a large area, pummeling thousands of cars and homes in a matter of minutes,” said Carole Walker, RMIIA executive director.

According to RMIIA, Colorado can average 30 to 40 tornadoes a year with most occurring in late spring and early summer. Colorado’s most costly insured tornado losses were from the Limon Tornado on June 6, 1990, resulting in $20 million in damage or $30.8 million in today’s dollars.

Colorado’s tornadoes have not added up to large insurance damage because they have historically touched down in less populated areas and the damage is typically more isolated than say a widespread hailstorm. Colorado’s most costly insured catastrophe was from a July 11, 1990, hailstorm that hit along the Front Range causing $625 million in damage, or $1 billion in today’s dollars. RMIIA indicated.