Local communities declare state of emergency after hail storms

CALIFORNIA BOROUGH, Pa. — California Borough as well as several surrounding communities have declared a state of emergency after Sunday’s hailstorm.

PHOTOS: Hail, severe thunderstorms roll through local counties

Mayor Frank Steter, whose house was damaged in the storm, says he filed the paperwork with the state Tuesday in the hope of helping people who don’t have insurance.

“If you do not have insurance, contact our zoning office and they will do a damage assessment. We need 25 houses without insurance and then we’ll qualify for state aid,” Steter said.

Steter said there is no guarantee aid will be available, but he’s hopeful.

The borough also took to social media, warning residents looking for contractors to do thorough research before handing over money.

“My advice to anyone looking into getting their roof fixed or siding fixed: make sure you do your homework before you sign any papers. Make sure it’s a reputable company, a local company here in Pittsburgh that will be around if there is any future problems,” said Tom Foster with Mighty Dog Roofing.

Foster was in the community Wednesday giving estimates and explaining to people that most of the damage is covered by insurance.

“I have never seen damage like this! This typically happens in the Midwest, not here in western PA. It’s a sight to see!” Foster said.

Cal Borough resident, Beth Baxter, needs a new roof after the storm. She said the sound of the powerful hail pinging off everything was unlike anything she’s ever experienced.

“I’m 75 and I have never seen anything like this before — and if I am fine, if I live another 75 years and never seen anything else like this,” Baxter said.

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