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Backlog of repairs to countless cars damaged by hailstorm

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: May 23 2014 04:20:03 PM CDT
Updated On: May 23 2014 04:56:35 PM CDT

Phones were ringing off the hook Friday as collision centers and glass companies struggled to keep up with the damage caused by a horrifying hailstorm.

READING, Pa. -

Phones were ringing off the hook Friday as collision centers and glass companies struggled to keep up with the damage caused by a horrifying hailstorm.

Countless cars, homes and businesses were wrecked and ravaged when Berks County was hit hard by hail Thursday. B&G Glass in Reading was swamped Friday replacing shattered glass.

"My entire windshield is spidered. My sunroof is gone and I have probably 1,000 dents on my car. It looks like somebody took a hammer to it," said Sara Linderman, who feared her car was totaled.

The epic storm Thursday afternoon seemed to have expensive taste. Video captured by a 69 News viewer showed 400 Mercedes and BMW vehicles pinged and dinged from the chunks of ice. More than $10 million worth of damage happened at those dealerships alone.

"One of the amazing things was the gas caps blew off and also the iconic three pointed star on the front of the car," said John Masano, owner of the dealership.

Glass & Sons Collision Repair on Lancaster Avenue in Reading has never seen anything like it. The lot outside their shop was filled with damaged vehicles.

"There's going to be a lot of panel replacement, a lot of roofs, hoods, deck lids, door skins and quarter panels replaced," said Trevor Glass, general manager of the collision repair center.

Glass said paintless dent repair workers have been called in from out of state to help attack the lot of wreckage and decide if anything can be salvaged.

"Until an estimate has been written on it and you know for sure, it's hard to say if they're totaled, but a lot of the older vehicles are more than likely going to be a total loss," said Glass.

Many tow truck drivers around the region were on the job for more than 24 hours. Berks County was also running out of rental cars, which left many people stranded.