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Those affected by May 30 storm must rely on private insurance, not state or federal help.

TERESA JACKSON/MADRAS PIONEER - Damage from a storm that ripped through Culver and Metolius May 30 won't be covered by state and federal aid. Private insurance companies say wind and hail damage are covered by many policies.The storm that ripped through Culver and Metolius and poured hail on the rest of Jefferson County May 30 won't bring state or federal aid in its wake, despite widespread damage to farms, outbuildings, homes and vehicles.

"The main reason the storm didn't qualify has to do with the type of wind," said Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. David Pond, who is the county's emergency manager.

"Tornadoes and hurricanes qualify, while lateral winds don't (normally)," he said. "Damage to public infrastructure has a threshold that needs to be met, as well as statewide damage threshold, and it wasn't."

While the storm brought winds of up to 100 miles per hour, they were straight-line winds, according to the National Weather Service.

That leaves property owners relying on their insurance policies.

While rumors of policies not covering the storm because it could be classified as an act of God have circulated, some policies do cover the losses.

"Of course, it all depends on the type of loss," said Nichole Wimpari, a multiline representative with State Farm in Madras. "Wind, hail, rain, generally all of those are a covered loss."

Wimpari said State Farm alone has over 500 claims.

"We're actually running into more home damage than car damage," she said. Much of that was caused by trees, as well as wind and rain.

All of the farms that State Farm insures in the Madras and Metolius area filed claims, she said, but she does not have an estimate of the total damages.

"It was tremendous," she said.

State Farm declared the storm a catastrophe.

"Essentially, that gives us access to more adjusters," Wimpari said. And specialized departments that handle major storms help to handle claims.

The catastrophe designation also means claims won't affect discounts and rates for policies.

But getting repairs has been challenging.

"Patience is key because a lot of people have been affected," she said.

That means local roofers and other contractors are booked.

Some claims have already been closed, especially if the damage was minimal.

"But a lot of it will just depend on how quickly you can get on a contractor's or a roofer's schedule," she said.


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