CALGARY — Two hailstorms that hit north of Calgary have been classified as a catastrophe by the Insurance Bureau of Canada and damage is pegged at more than $25 million.
Last Thursday, the city of Airdrie, was hit with a thunderstorm that produced hail stones as large as golf balls in some areas.
The hail punched holes in the siding, eaves and windows of homes in the city and dented and smashed windows and lights on vehicles.
On Friday, another thunderstorm swept through the area also bringing heavy winds and hail.
Residents are still cleaning up from both storms and auto body shops in the area say it will be months before they can deal with the backlog of damaged vehicles.
The bureau says hail season in Alberta typically runs from June through to September and says vehicle and homeowners should check policies to ensure they are up-to-date and cover their needs.
“It’s a fact that the frequency, severity and cost of severe weather are on the rise all across Canada,” says Bill Adams, IBC vice-president, Western and Pacific.
“We’re certainly seeing this in Alberta and the Prairie provinces where homes are being damaged more frequently by hail, heavy rainfall and strong winds, which makes it critical for people to know how to protect themselves and their property.”
The IBC says severe storms in Alberta resulted in more than $700 million in insured losses in 2012 and in 2011, storms and hail accounted for another $380 million in insured losses.