Auto body repair shops in Bolivar were packed Friday after Thursday night’s hailstorm damaged many vehicles.
“I’ve been in Bolivar since ’97, been doing collision repairs,” said Randy Boulware, Advanced Auto Body Frame and Glass Owner. “This is the worst I’ve seen while I’ve been here, by far the worst.”
The National Weather Service received reports of hail as large as 4 inches in Fair Play and 2 inches in Bolivar.
“The beginning what we first saw was some jagged hail,” said Boulware. “I guess I’ve heard them say that’s the worst. Instead of round balls, actually pieces of jagged ice were falling in the very beginning.”
Boulware said he started getting calls from people about repairs the moment the storm started rolling through early Thursday evening.
“We’re seeing a lot of hail dents,” said Boulware. “A lot of panels are probably going to need to be replaced, hoods a lot. All the moldings they tend to dent really easily, they’re made out of aluminum.”
Matt Hannah said seven of his company vehicles, with Hannah’s Excavating and Trucking, were impacted by the hail.
“We were trying to get home and beat the storm, but we didn’t even make it out of town and we were at a standstill on the highway,” said Hannah. “Just sitting in the trucks and watching it hit. It felt like it was just going to break the window and start hitting you. Which it did break through. We have holes in some of our windows.”
He said the storm caught everyone off guard, but they are acting quickly to get things repaired.
“That’s what we are dedicating today to,” said Hannah. “Trying to get out and get quotes so we can get everything back up and in operation. Some of our trucks are completely out of commission and probably will be for at least a week. We’re going to lose a couple days’ worth of production.”