Summer hail storm causes car damage

August 2, 2011 2:13:01 PM PDT
The freak hailstorm on Monday evening in Long Island, left many residents with damaged cars, and long lines outside automobile repair shops.

"Roofs, hoods, trunks, back windows, windshields," said Robert Polgar, owner of Tip Top Auto Body.

That's a laundry list of the kind of vehicle damage auto body shop owner Bob Polgar says he's seeing on Tuesday in the wake of Monday's freak hail storm.

Long Island and New York City communities were pounded, in some cases by golf ball-size or bigger hailstones.

"This is the first time in my life I've never seen it. I've been in this business for over 40 years and I've never seen this before," Polgar said.

Polgar says car owners began showing up with their battered vehicles at his New Hyde Park shop late Monday night and first thing Tuesday morning, hoping, but in most cases failing, to beat the long line.

"I kind of expected it," said Little Neck resident, Donald Hinchey.

Donald Hinchey says he has no idea when he'll get back his hail-bitten 2006 Hyundai Sonata.

"I had my back windshield shattered, my front windshield cracked all over the place. I had my side mirror destroyed-pings all over the car," Hinchey said.

In many cases, all that could be done today was get the damaged cataloged, call the insurer and wait for the repair bill.

The average cost for many of these car owners is at least four thousand dollars.

New Hyde Park resident, Terry Algu just bought his Mercedes two weeks ago.

"Hopefully when I get it back, it will look the way I got it," Algu said.