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A late-February hail storm has left residents of Gonzales, Louisiana scrambling to get their houses repaired in a timely manner, according to local CBS affiliate WAFB. State Farm has reportedly processed more than 400 claims related to the February 23 storm, and demand for repair work has apparently stretched the capacity of local construction firms.

Why are local homeowners in a rush to get repairs completed?

In an interview with WAFB, Christ Brantley, owner of Premier Construction, noted that even if the damage caused by hail seems relatively minor, rain will exacerbate surface damage, turning small divots into larger holes and potentially affecting the structural integrity of the roof. He says this can take years, even decades off the life of a roof.

Another local roofer, Andrew Garcia, residential manager at Garcia Roofing and Sheet Metal, told WAFB that his company received more than 100 calls in the week after the storm. "We are doing at least four roof installations a day, and these are pretty decent sized houses," he added.

Property damage was also reported in neighboring Prairieville, Louisiana. Residents of both areas told reporters that they were surprised by the severity of the storm.

"We had not seen anything like that before, nor had our neighbors," Gonzales resident Norma Cardwell told WAFB, adding that she "jumped out of bed at five o'clock in the morning" when she heard the hail pounding on her roof

Given that severe damage can occur unexpectedly as a result of hail storms or other unpredictable weather events, it is important for insurance carriers to have accurate replacement cost estimates for residential properties and understand how specific factors, such as fluctuations in the cost of building materials and labor, can influence reconstruction costs.