1 month later: Recovering from Reading hail

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It has now been one month since a hail storm caused extensive damage in Reading. (WPVI)

It has now been one month since a hail storm caused extensive damage in Reading.

The massive hail totaled many cars there and, on Monday, residents and business owners are still trying to recover.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 is a date that Joseph Maisey from Stork's Automotive Shop will never forget.

"I've never seen anything like that in my life and we stood here and watched it. It was pretty cool. It's cool for us now because we're really, really busy," Maisey said.

In fact, Maisey says even now, a month after the storm, his shop is still trying to get damaged cars back on the road.

The problem is that they are dealing with an unexpected issue.

"Some of the parts of getting hard to find like the windshields and the mirrors. There are so many cars that were damaged from this and everyone wants their car fixed right away and they just can't keep up with the reproducing of the parts," Maisey said.

And dozens of the vehicles sent to Stork's came from the lot of John's Great Cars pre-owned vehicles.

"We just stood here and watched our cars get hammered," John Bowers said.

John Bower says 87 of the 95 cars on his lot were damaged.

One of his employees took video of the storm and they even kept some of the hail in the freezer as a keepsake.

But the reason John's Great Cars is still in business is because three months before the storm, Bowers' insurance agent convinced him that his business was underinsured.

Bowers admits that, at first, he wasn't buying what his agent was selling.

"What could possibly happen that would mess up my whole lot? I said, 'a meteor hitting it?' We laughed and he said, 'no, how about hail?' I said, 'We've never had hail.' So he talked me into increasing it about $300,000," Bower said.

The insurance settlement was coupled with the automotive version of a scratch and dent sale.

Now John Bowers says of the 87 vehicles damaged, only eight remain unsold.

"People got great deals and we got rid of our inventory," Bowers said.

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pa. newsreadinghailReading
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