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Cruces assessing damage from Saturday’s hailstorms

LAS CRUCES – The fallout continues from Saturday’s hailstorms that pounded Las Cruces with golf ball-sized frozen pellets that caused widespread damage.

The back nine holes at the Las Cruces Golf Club remained unplayable Monday after huge hail wreaked havoc on the greens. City officials were still assessing damage to public buildings and the city’s fleet service.

Las Crucens had either called their insurance agents or were about to Monday to begin filing claims on broken windshields, dented vehicles, damaged roofs or broken skylights.

“(I) just bought a new home,” lamented Las Crucen Pamela Sauceda, in a post on the Sun-News’ Facebook page. “Eleven skylights broken. Bought a new truck (that) still has paper (license) plates, hail damage all over. A Honda with hail and windshield damage. Filed two claims.”

It was just as bad at Laurie A. Smith’s house.

“Two broken skylights and some big cracks on the roof parapet,” Smith said in a Facebook post. “I filed an insurance claim by phone at 2:45 p.m. (Saturday), right after the weather cleared a bit. Now, we wait for the claims adjuster to show up. (It) could take a while, based upon past experience.”

Serena Calvin, talked of the damage hail caused to her roof and skylights.

“It was pretty intense,” Calvin said of the 1-inch hail that fell at her east Las Cruces home Saturday. “Where I had the roof repaired several years ago, I could see where the hail ripped that all apart again. I’ve got splotches on my ceiling where the rain soaked through. The skylights got shattered, and I had to use clear, heavy-duty plastic and duct tape to seal it back up until I can get those replaced. It’s a mess, a complete, utter mess.”

Victor Rodriguez, spokesman for State Farm Insurance, said his company is finalizing details to open a mobile claims center later this week in Las Cruces. Ken Miyagishima, district sales manager for Farmers Insurance, said that his company has designated Las Cruces a “catastrophe area” because of Saturday’s storms and that adjusters have been sent to process claims.

Saturday’s hailstorms also caused significant damage to Sonoma Ranch Golf Course. The greens on holes 9 through 18 were pelted by large hail, and six skylights in the golf club’s restaurant were broken.

“We had ice in our restaurant,” said Gabriel Rubio, head golf professional at the Las Cruces Golf Club. “We had golf ball-sized hail and larger.

“There are thousands of divots on the greens,” he said.

Rubio couldn’t put a dollar estimate on damages to the golf course. But he anticipated it could get pricey.

“It’s going to be a pretty penny,” Rubio said.

Chances remain high, at least through today, for more rain and hail.

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