FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Insurance and tree removal companies have stayed busy helping homeowners clean-up the damage from June's storm. Both industries were bombarded with calls as soon as the storm passed.
Hupe Insurance Services President Roger Hupe said Monday the phones at his office rang non-stop for nearly three days. Most calls were from people wanting to know the steps to get a claim filed and fix their home.
In all, close to 75 percent of Hupe's customers said they had some type of damage on their property.
"At this point, everyone who has reported damage has been contacted," Hupe said. "They've been given direction on the next step. In most cases, appraisers have been out and things are well on their way to resolution."
Hupe said many homes had at least $5,000 in damages. He knew of one home with $15,000 in damages, and another had suffered $70,000 in damages.
Hupe added that companies brought in adjusters from other parts of the country to help with assessing damages. Many times, an adjuster would write a check on the spot to the homeowner.
However, many homeowners may have found out their policy did not cover knocked down trees, unless the toppled tree damaged the house or vehicle.
"In most cases, it has to be direct damage to the house," Hupe said.
It was also true for people looking to be reimbursed for deciding to stay at a hotel. Most policies only cover hotel expenses when a family is displaced from a home due to damage, and does not cover homes that lost electricity.
The majority of trees didn't fall into houses or cars, which means homeowners were stuck with the bill to pick those up.
Hupe offered a couple tips for anyone on a budget who needed a tree taken away.
"You can buy your own chainsaw, and sweat the work yourself," he said. "Or find someone who sells firewood and will cut it up and take it away."
Tree removal services had the same number of calls after the storm. Lawnscape Land Management said Monday its had crews out on weekends and even the Fourth of July to get trees off of people's roofs and out of their yards.
"We've had several trees on houses, or trees on cars," Hollie Shelton, the manager of Lawnscape Land Management, said. "Property damage all the way around."
Shelton said it could be a couple months before all the debris is cleaned up. Another tree removal company said it was booked for the next three weeks.
The company assessed all the damaged, and decided to get the home's with roof damage first.
"We get the tree off the home," she said. "For now, what's most important is to get people back in their homes."
From there, the plan is to fix any other types of property damage, and then go back to clean-up the remaining limbs and debris.
Shelton said her crews have already been to several houses that have been condemned because of storm damage.
"It's extreme," Shelton said, when asked about the amount of time it's taken to clean-up the damage. 'It's exhausting, overwhelming. It's a team effort and it's got to be done. That's what we're here for."
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