Tornado leaves body of work

Auto body repairman Adam Gleaton of Bender Auto Repair works on a truck damaged by hail during the tornado in Clovis two weeks ago. Gleaton said the shop has been staying busy since the storm. (CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson)

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

Auto body shops have been busy repairing vehicles battered by a massive March 23 storm that walloped Clovis and Logan with tornadoes.

Richard Dindinger, manager of Bender Body Shop, said his crews have been busy replacing vehicle roofs and doors damaged by flying debris from the tornado.

“We’ve had about 30 cars in the last two weeks,” Dindinger said, “which is twice as much as we usually see.”

Although his crew is overworked, Dindinger said the last two weeks have gone smoothly. “I could use an extra man,” he said, “and hopefully there won’t be a shortage of parts.”

According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the estimated insurance price tag of last month’s tornado is $16.5 million. RMIIA Executive Director Carole Walker said that amount includes damage sustained to homes and vehicles in Clovis, Logan and Roswell.

Nearly 5,200 homeowner and auto claims have been filed, Walker said.

The RMIIA is a non-profit insurance communications organization that represents property and casualty insurers in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

“While the tornado damage is more devastating, the hailstones battered more cars and homes — adding up to more expensive, widespread damage,” Walker said.
Walker said there have been 3,600 auto claims, which is more than double the 1,500 homeowner claims being reported.

Clovis body shop Deloyce Brothers has seen a few of the hail damaged vehicles. Brothers, who owns All Star Dent, said 20 customers have visited her establishment for auto repairs in the last two weeks. “It isn’t really a high number, “considering the storm we had,” Brothers said,

Hail damage is covered under an auto policy if the policyholder has comprehensive coverage, according to Walker.