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Car Owners Look To Replace Hail-Damaged Windows

By Jason Allen, CBS 11 News

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Tornadoes, straight-line winds and large hail took aim at homes and businesses all over North Texas on Tuesday night, and the damage from the storms may not even be entirely realized yet. The insurance industry expects as much as $300 million in damage claims, including holes in roofs, car dents and dings, and broken windows.

CBS 11 News found temporary repair shops starting to pop up across the Metroplex, as a way to help handle the thousands of cars with hail damage.

Vehicles were lined outside of an oil change shop in Irving on Thursday afternoon, waiting to have their windshields and rear windows replaced at a fraction of the body shop cost. Two teams of two repairmen were prying shattered windshields off of pockmarked cars and quickly replacing them with salvaged windshields from local junkyards.

Brendan Barrett said that he could not afford the $500 quotes from body shops, and was thrilled to find the cheaper option. “I was throwing away my glass and some guy told me about this,” Barrett said. His Mitsubishi Eclipse was also missing pieces of trim, knocked off by baseball-sized hail. “Ended up getting it for $150 over here.”

Others had no choice but to take their cars to professionals. Curtis Perry had two sedans, and SUV and a limousine – all damaged during the storm at his Irving home. Perry owns a car service, Perry’s Transportation Service. He is now effectively shut down for as much as three weeks while the windows are all replaced and every dent gets repaired.

Perry’s woes come at a particularly busy time, too. His clients are needing transportation services to and from the Byron Nelson golf tournament, the NBA Playoffs and high school proms. “What can I do? I know I’m going to lose money,” Perry asked, “but what can you do?”

CBS 11 News also found several cars with missing windows or large holes in the parking lots at Dallas Love Field. Airport staff members left notes on most vehicles, telling those owners – still off traveling somewhere — about the severe hail storm and the damage that was done. Still, some car owners walked from the terminal to the parking lot and stared at their hail-damaged cars, trying to figure out what could have punched a perfect circle in their window.

Local body shops expect that most people with glass damage will get it fixed quickly. This long Memorial Day weekend will probably see body shop business skyrocket as drivers get a chance to fix dents and holes. Insurance agencies are also expected to set up large-scale processing lines at body shops by early next week.

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