Residents of Crane, Texas, are used to hearing about booms—the city is located in the oil fields of west Texas.
But about midday on May 7, they heard literal booms as lime-to-baseball-sized hail slammed into their windshields.
“This is probably the worst I’ve ever seen,” Sgt. Luis Navarette of the Crane Police Department told News West 9 of the hail.
With hail damage that bad, automotive glass repair shops are sprinting to keep up.
“We’re working it out—it’s going good but there are calls coming in like crazy. And we already had jobs booked,” says Olivia Balderaz, bookkeeper at Glass Doctor Odessa, which is 30 minutes north of Crane. She says the hail was anywhere between lime and baseball-sized.
Being busy is the norm for automotive glass shops in west Texas, which is growing rapidly thanks to the oil boom. The hail damage only adds to local shops’ demands.
“We’re usually busy—not just because of the weather but with the oil boom, we usually have a few days booked out,” Balderaz says, so her company has set aside a team to go help Crane and has been working extra hours to keep up with demand.
Jason Flores of Flores Auto Glass in nearby Midland, Texas, had his area hit by hail as well on May 9. He says there’s always a need for automotive glass services but in Midland, people are still waiting on insurance from the storm.
“Probably about 80 percent of people are still waiting on insurance,” Flores says.