Calgary windstorm sets insurance records
A storm that lashed Calgary last month blew away the previous records for insurance claims on wind-related weather events, adjusters say.
The Nov. 27 windstorm smashed windows on office towers, uprooted hundreds of trees and ripped shingles and siding from houses.
A strong low-pressure system combined with a Chinook blowing east from the mountains produced winds as strong as 91 kilometres per hour.
The storm prompted officials to shut the city’s core to traffic as glass and debris rained down on the streets. In Claresholm, 130 kilometres south of Calgary, gusts reached 144 kilometres per hour, equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
Peader Mulhall, a claims manager at AMA Insurance, predicted his firm alone is facing $5.7 million in claims. AMA logged 700 claims in the five days following the storm, he said.
"Barbeques, a lot of over turned barbeques, trampolines, and a lot of shingles and roofing," he said.
Southern communities such as Lake Chaparral and Auburn Bay were hit hardest by the gale-force winds.
"I was up in the second floor bedroom and the wind was blowing so hard it was shaking my windows," said Judy Ruskowsky, who lives in Auburn Bay.
"I heard it go all around my house and then it took off some of my shingles off my roof," she said.
Ruskowsky said she is still waiting to make a claim.
"They are so backed up I have to get someone else to look at it and give them the bill," she said.
AMA insurance officials said the claims department is working overtime to keep up with the claims.