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05/24/2013

Insured damages from May 15 tornadoes estimated at $250 million

The May 15 storms in North Texas that included tornadoes and hail produced an estimated $250 million in insured losses, according to an insurance industry group.

Mark Hanna, spokesman at the Insurance Council of Texas in Austin, said insurers are seeing claims from at least six counties, from Palo Pinto in the west to Ellis in the east. He said that while the tornadoes that hit Granbury and Cleburne received most of the news coverage, “there was as much hail damage as tornado damage,” judging by insurance claims.

Hanna said it’s been difficult to come up with an estimate of damage because “it was so widespread.”

Six deaths and dozens of injuries were reported in Granbury, where a tornado cut a swath about 100 yards wide and a mile long, and 80 mph winds were reported in Cleburne. Hanna said there were also reports of grapefruit-size hail in Mineral Wells and wind damage in downtown Ennis in a day that ultimately counted 16 separate tornadoes.

His group’s estimate only counts damage to insured properties. There are always additional uninsured and underinsured losses, he said.

-- Jim Fuquay

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