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Storm damage benefits local economy

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Amarillo, TX -- Showers are generally welcome in west Texas, but as we all know, severe storms can wreak havoc on cars and homes ... but even when that happens, it's not all necessarily bad news. 

For example, while the recent hailstorm in Amarillo brought its share of heartaches and headaches, it also brought a windfall for some local businesses.

According to the Insurance Council of Texas, the May 28th hailstorm damaged an estimated 35,000 vehicles and thousands of homes in Amarillo - with a combined estimated total of $400 million in insurance claims.  And while everyone's premiums will likely increase because of it, the local economy will see a bit of a trickle-down effect.

In the days and now weeks after the storm, roofing, landscaping, auto body, and glass repair businesses in Amarillo have had a steady stream of customers.  And as Patrick Ware, Senior Vice President of Amarillo National Bank explains, that extra revenue finds its way back to the local economy as workers in those trades have more money to spend.

"What that's going to do, it's going to stabilize the jobs, you're going to see the price for materials probably go up, and just a lot more money being spent in our area's economy," says Ware.

With a storm of this magnitude, however, the demand for service can stretch local businesses thin - which adds another element to the economic mix.


"The multiplier is even greater here because you've got the adjusters and a bunch of people from out of town who are coming here to buy gas, they're eating at restaurants, they're going to our retail, so you're really seeing a boost to the economy," explains Ware.  "This whole thing has really done wonders for Amarillo over the last six weeks."

The latest local economic analysis predicts a fifty percent boost for construction in Amarillo over the next year, which is in part due to the hailstorm.  You can see that analysis for yourself at the link attached to this story.

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