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Wapello hail storm devastates small businesses

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An overnight hail storm has left a Wapello, Iowa business with thousands of dollars worth of damage.

Kathy Blasor, co-owner of Wapello Auto Sales, said she had no idea the hail storm was going to be bad until she got to work Thursday morning.

"My boyfriend was getting ready to leave and he says, 'I'll run down to the car lot and check it out, I'll give you a call,'" Blasor said. "So I got dressed, thought I'd get here early and he goes, 'It's all damaged.'"

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Her auto dealership had $9,000 worth of damages and her insurance doesn't cover it.

"We've had three windshields that were busted and the rest of it was just hail damage…it was just awful," said Blasor.

Another car shop down the street had all their cars dinged and dented as well.

Doug Mills, owner of Mills Sales and Service, said he was shocked to see hail from the storm was still on the ground more than 12 hours after the storm.

"It must have been pretty good size, because there's some of it still some left," Mills said. "For it to even be here is amazing to me."

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Fortunately, his insurance covers most of the damage.

But, for Blasor, the storm has cost her dearly.

"I'm devastated.  I mean, you know, it's a new business, we're just starting out.  Your livelihood kind of gets torn up," Blasor said.

Blasor said she will have to sell the damaged cars for much less now, cutting into her bottom dollar.

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  • JF Munkee

    If I had a small car lot like that, I think a large, open pole shed type structure would be a wise investment. Either that or someone could ‘invent’ car/truck blankets that you could quickly cover up your vehicles (thinking moving pad type blankets, custom fit for make/model) using bungee type clips to the bumpers/wheel wells. So each one would cost $300. And you could reuse for every time you get a similar vehicle on your lot or offer to sell to car buyer and offer a new, unique product for those who don’t have a garage!

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