Repair

Oh hi! Townspeople scramble to repair the damage | The Independent Green

COTTONWOOD – Townspeople are still scrambling to repair the damage to hundreds of homes and cars damaged by a single monsoon on Aug. 23 that cut off part of the town, while leaving other parts of town without a drop of rain.

The monsoon has dented vehicles, downed trees and fences and ripped roof shingles, necessitating costly insurance repairs at a time when contractors are busy building homes and apartments in the area.

One Cottonwood resident even complained that the storm shredded his 4-foot marijuana plants.

“There’s a lot of hail damage in Verde Valley and downtown Cottonwood,” said Chad Hale of Hales Roofing Co. in Cottonwood.

The city’s Sixth Street was hammered and so was Bridgeport, he said. There were lots of broken skylights, damaged shingles, dented gutters and metal flashings.

“The majority of them are actually whole roof replacements,” Hale said.

He said his company will do about 15 or 20 replacements after the storm, but judging by all the roofers who have flooded the area, there will be hundreds of roofs completely replaced by this storm.

Hale, who is based in Cottonwood and Sedona, said there’s an entire industry that tracks storms and they show up the next day after a hailstorm.

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Some of them are good entrepreneurs, but for every legitimate entrepreneur there might also be a bad one, so people should do their research, Hale suggested. Some of these contractors do good work and provide good service, but consumers should make sure they can have a way to contact them if they are from out of town in the event of a problem.

The storm damage has created a large backlog in the Verde Valley as roofers have to deal with people damaged by the storm, but they also have to go to people they have already entrusted with roofing work. “When you’re already busy and now there are hundreds more houses.”

Jennifer Griffin of State Farm Insurance in Cottonwood said, “My office alone has probably handled over 150 claims” due to this storm. She said many automobiles were damaged and the other State Farm office in town had similar numbers.

“The hail was so intense,” Griffin said. “The sheer force of it.”

Insurance company staff saw the storm from their desks and their cars were damaged, she said.

It’s mostly in Cottonwood with some claims in Camp Verde and Sedona by those who had driven through the area.

The claims include a house, vehicles, recreational vehicles, horse trailers and trees downed on fences.

David Upham, who lives in Cornville, has put up signs across town letting consumers know he can help with hail damage to their vehicles caused by the storm.

Upham just finished repairing hail damage on a late-model Mustang Friday morning at Vince’s Auto Body in Camp Verde and was beginning to work on checkered dents on the hood of a 2019 Ford F150 with an aluminum body.

He said he was trained in this skilled process, which uses specialized equipment to push in and remove hail impact bumps. He said the owner of the Mustang in Cottonwood had four vehicles damaged in the hailstorm, including a Cadillac.

Upham said he was an independent contractor but was working with Vince’s Auto Body in Camp Verde to complete the repairs. Upham said he would repair about 50 vehicles from that storm.

Upham said the center of the storm was near the post office, but the damage was near Safeway and residential areas. He said damages ranged from $3,000 to $7,000 in repairs per vehicle.

The Cottonwood Police Department warned people after the storm to take precautions before hiring a contractor or company to carry out cleanup and repairs.

“Always get a copy of the written and signed contract and take the time to read the details. Ask for the business card of the person with whom you are contracting. Be sure to specify that they actually work for this company,” police explained.

Examine contractors to make sure they are licensed. Use this link to check licenses: ROC.AZ.gov. Also check sites like the Better Business Bureau and investigate any licensing complaints.

Contact Vyto Starinskas at [email protected]