Wind damage costs start rolling in for the cities and local residents

TRI-CITIES, WA. - The severe windstorm that rocked the Tri-Cities a few weeks ago is still being felt in many people's pocketbooks. Insurance will help most people, but not with the deductible. The city of Richland saw massive costs itself.

Jim and Gayle Hamilton were putting decorations on their Christmas tree the weekend before the storm. Gayle did not have a star for the top of her tree, but got one a couple days later, thanks to the wind.
You can see how a branch came through their home, poking a star-shape right near the Christmas tree.

"It was very comical to me, we are not really worriers because we know we are taken care of. We just took pictures," said Gayle Hamilton.

The fallen tree shifted the house an inch off of its base, damage totaled more than 20-thousand dollars. Most covered by insurance, but the Hamiltons have a one-thousand dollar deductible.

"We had other expenses coming up on top of the holidays and that was the biggest problem, was trying to realize how much this was going to come out of our pocket," said Jim Hamilton.

The family are not alone.

All three cities had damage to government property, Pasco totaled ten grand in costs from the storm, Kennewick eleven grand, while Richland took the biggest hit.

A number of fallen trees and power lines results in more than half a million dollars in costs related to the storm.

"We're not quite sure why Richland was hit harder than the other cities, all we know with our power going out and and crews working around the clock, that's the majority of the costs incurred," said Richland Communications Manager Trish Herron.

100 trees fell on city property, most valued at 21-hundred dollars a pop. Richland hasn't made a final decision on replanting,but the Hamiltons are preparing themselves.

"On the line where those trees fell, there are five more, we decided these need to come down this spring, hopefully there won't be anymore wind til then," said Jim Hamilton.

One thing Jim won't have to worry about is fire wood for next year.

Officials from all three cities tell KEPR no future projects have been or will be taken off the list due to these costs related to the storm.