At least 125 vehicles belonging to the City of Lakewood, Colo., were damaged by a hailstorm that hit earlier this month. Lakewood Fleet Manager Nina Hoffert, CAFM, said the city is still assessing the damage but repairs may take upwards of a year.
The storm hit on May 8 and, according to The Denver Post, it is the most costly hailstorm in the state’s history. An estimated $1.4 billion in damage was incurred across the Denver metropolitan area and, since the storm hit in the middle of the afternoon, many vehicles were damaged while on the road in early rush-hour traffic.
Hoffert said hail is nothing new for the city — the fleet faced similar damage in a 2009 hailstorm — but agreed that timing made a big difference, as many fleet vehicles were still on the road instead of parked in storage.
So far, 125 vehicles have been found with damage from the hail, including windshield, window, and body damage, and this number may increase. Additional damage to fleet vehicles includes lens covers and light bulbs on police cars and snow plows.
In the aftermath, the city has been hard at work assessing damage and deciding what work to prioritize. Hoffert said the fleet was able to replace 40 windshields in four days, but estimates repairs to take upwards of a year due to glass and body work being sent out.
“Since we do outsource it, we use the same vendors as everyone else,” she said.