Fort Worth

Hail Storm Packs One-Two Punch for Homeowners Still Reeling From February Freeze

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Wednesday night’s storm did a number on homes and cars stretching from Texas to Oklahoma.

AccuWeather estimates the damage could total $3.5 billion dollars across both states.

It’s a disaster that comes just over two months after the winter storm that was one of the costliest weather events in Texas history. And for some homeowners, it’s a double whammy.

As the storm passed over Scott and Rebecca Stepter's Fort Worth home, they sheltered in a closet with one of their boys and the family dog.

“It was like people were lined up all around the house drumming,” said Scott Stepter.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never heard what we heard last night,” said Rebecca Stepter.

It didn’t take long to determine that both of their hail-pummeled cars were a complete loss, but they didn’t realize how severely their roof was hit until Scott got up to let the dog out in the middle of the night.

“I walked through here and realized there was a puddle and we had water coming in from the ceiling,” said Scott.

To add insult to injury, the floor was just three weeks old.

It had finally been replaced after pipes that burst in February flooded the front part of their home.

“We were just at the tail end. We were only lacking carpet in a couple of bedrooms, and that was kind of the last piece of the puzzle. Now, we’re right back in the thick of the process with insurance and everything,” said Stepter.

According to the Insurance Council of Texas, theirs is one of more than 7,500 claims from last night’s storm.

The majority of those came from Tarrant County, and it’s likely more are on the way.

Several local contractors that spoke with NBC 5 said the Stepters aren’t the only ones impacted who also sustained damage in the February freeze.

"From a capacity standpoint, our contractors, roofers, contractors, repair facilities really are stretched to capacity,” said Insurance Council Director of Communications Camille Garcia.

Garcia said homeowners, especially those with multiple claims, should document every conversation with both adjusters and contactors. She urged people to thoroughly vet those hired to make repairs.

She also warned against signing over insurance proceeds upfront, saying work should be paid for incrementally as it’s performed.

Most importantly, she asked homeowners to have patience, something the Stepters have had a crash course in.

“Having walked through this process not too long ago, we know what it looked like, how we made it as normal as possible for us and our boys. We try not to lose hope and our temper and our patience along the way," said Scott.

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