Gympie dealerships count cost as storm pummels 2000 cars
FIFTEEN minutes of chaos during last week's storm has left glaziers and car dealers scrambling for the past five days as the region works to recover.
"Hail sales” have already started in some car yards and more will be written off, with some cars reportedly receiving up to $7000 in damage.
Madill Mazda general manager Adam Madill said the cost across the family's four dealerships would easily run well past "tens of thousands of dollars”.
"All of our assessors had to come out,” Mr Madill said.
But it could have been worse.
"At least we had a little bit of a window to get a lot of cars out and under cover,” he said.
Mr Madill said it was "one of the worst” storms he had ever seen, pointing to the "cold green sky” which was usually only a small patch here and there.
"This one had a wider path than normal,” he said.
- WATCH: What the Gympie storm damage looks like from the sky
- GALLERY: 60 photos of Gympie's 'hailnado' destruction
- LIKE A SNOWSTORM: Gympie lettuce farm battered by Hailnado
Gympie's Dent Doctor Cameron Klee shared Mr Madill's gratitude for the weather warnings.
"The number of cars damaged could have been a lot higher,” Mr Klee said.
As it is the region was easily looking at about 1500-2000 cars damaged by the storm, he said.
"There's a fair bit of work being done. The storm was widespread, from one side of town to the other.”
Cooloola Panel and Paint's Kirsty Chandler said that figure is likely to be revised much higher in the final tally.
She said staff had worked through the weekend to keep on top of the business.
"There's been a fair bit of overtime,” she said.
Many of the cars which were caught in the storm's path had "extensive damage” and were likely to be write-offs.
And while it was impossible to put a tag on the cost, she said a good indication was that many households were faced with damage easily stretching into the thousands.
While car dealerships were counting the cost after being caught between a rock and a hard place they were not the only businesses buried in the aftermath. The ferocity of the hail storm was not restricted to damaged cars, either.
Madill Mazda's Liam Smith said the building's perspex skylight "looks like it's been shot”, a sentiment which many householders were no doubt feeling about the state of their windows.
Gympie Glazing Works' owner Leisa Harch said the phone had been "ringing non-stop” since Thursday afternoon.
"It's been phenomenal,” she said. "It's affected everybody in all directions.”
Her staff had worked over the weekend to keep up with the demand to replace windows, doors and louvres which were obliterated in the storm, and she praised the region for their patience.
"We're just getting to everybody as fast as we can,” she said.