Morning storms hit Newton with another round of rain today (Tuesday) but it was Monday night’s torrential downpour and hail that really caused a lot of damage in the central Iowa city. Insurance agent Dale Maki says his first minutes in the office signaled what a busy day it was going to be. By 8:30 he’d already had more than 50 claims phoned in, and another agent in town tells him they’re just as busy — with roofs, cars, and windshields broken by hail. Ice balls from marble-size to baseball-size fell on Newton, from a storm that hit about 4-30 Monday as it traveled along Interstate-80. Maki says insurance companies may send in a special “claims team” so it’s important for policy-holders to call in their claims promptly.Even when a claim’s settled, the agent says owners of dented cars will find another problem…more business than local auto repair shops can handle. He says there’s only so many body men in town to fix all the problems. Maki’s not calling this a “disaster,” but when a community’s problem is this big, everyone has to be patient, since he points out local dealerships just can’t handle all the repair jobs in a short time. Dealerships themselves were hit hard, with hundreds of cars on their lots damaged, to various degrees.
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