Hail storm damages dealers’ cars

At least two local automobile dealerships sustained damage when a hailstorm moved through the area Tuesday evening.

“Every single vehicle had damage on it, including some customers’ cars, probably just shy of 300,” said Dave Fiore, dealer/president of Fiore Buick GMC, 808 Logan Blvd. “A salesman told me he had never witnessed anything like it. The hail was 1 inch in diameter. The whole ground was white from hail hitting the ground. It was like it was raining ice. Our family has been in the auto business since 1953, and we’ve never been hit with a hail storm like that.”

Five Star Mitsubishi, 1200 Logan Blvd., also sustained some damage from the storm, which moved through the area about 7 p.m.

“We have a few vehicles that were damaged by hail. Fortunately, hail damage is 100 percent repairable,” owner Greg Sloan said.

AccuWeather received reports of 1-inch diameter hail in the Lakemont area and golf-ball sized hail – 1.75 inches in diameter – in the South Fork area in Cambria County, said meteorologist Brian Edwards.

Fiore said he will not have all of the hail-damaged vehicles repaired.

“A lot of them will be sold the way they are. We can give our customers huge discounts. A lot of them are small dents; you may not even notice them if driving down the road. The others can be fixed with paintless dent repair where they use a tool that works the metal,” Fiore said. “With 300 vehicles, it would take months to fix them all. People would rather accept them with the dents and save some money than get them fixed. It is a cosmetic thing; they all have complete full warranties.”

Meanwhile, some significant rainfall will be moving into the area.

“We are expecting some periods of very heavy rain tonight into Friday that may cause some flash flooding because the ground is saturated. A lot of places may receive 2 to 4 inches of rain. The highest potential for flooding is tonight into Friday,” Edwards said.