Hailstorm damage assessments monitor reconstruction progress

Results from recent damage assessments conducted on the damage and recovery progress of homes impacted by the Halloween hailstorm have been collated.

Within 24 hours of the 31 October storm, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared the natural disaster a catastrophe with the damage bill currently at $939m.

To track and monitor reconstruction progress of homes in these areas, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) undertook a three monthly DARMsysTM assessment in February 2021.

The February assessment included 1756 properties and found that 230 of those are still severely affected.

Severely affected means that the roof structure is significantly damaged and requires major repairs.

There are 667 houses are considered to have moderate damage which is described as having roofing material damaged or removed but no structural damage to the roof trusses.

A further 245 houses have minor damage which is a structure that has been damaged but is still habitable but repairs are still required.

There were 174 houses unable to be assessed and 440 with no damage.

QRA identified a number of damaged properties during this assessment that were not included in the initial damage assessment, resulting in a higher overall number of damaged properties.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding thanked the staff of Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority for supporting impacted families.

file image: SES Ipswich

“Vital data has been provided by the initial 1774 damage assessments conducted across the Ipswich and Logan local government areas along with the three-monthly assessment conducted in February,” Mayor Harding said.

“Despite decreases in severely and minor damage properties since the initial assessment in October, the number of moderately damaged properties have increased from 559 to 667 since the storm.

“Every week that goes by for each house without a roof or in need of major damage repairs, is another week of heartache and extreme stress for hundreds of impacted families. More needs to be done to expedite the repairs.”

The initial assessment immediately after the hailstorm identified 520 properties with severe damage, 602 dwellings with moderate damage and 652 properties with minor damage.

QRA identified a number of damaged properties during the latest February assessment that were not included in the initial damage assessment, resulting in a higher overall number of damaged properties.

Local Disaster Management Group Deputy Chair Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said council is continuing to work with other government agencies, community organisations and charities in a range of matters in relations to the storm recovery process.

“Council will continue to advocate for residents affected in the storm right across Ipswich with suburbs including Rosewood, Thagoona, Willowbank, Springfield and Springfield.

“The road to recovery is a long one and we will continue to highlight our community’s needs.”

Insurers have received more than 39,604 claims to date with more than 90 per cent of claims from householders.

Insurers and the Insurance Council of Australia will be at the Springlake Hotel Friday 5 March for one-on-one consultations.

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall said the Insurance Council of Australia acknowledges community members’ frustration with repair delays following last year’s destructive hailstorms.

“The community forum and one-on-one consultations with insurers are an opportunity to understand more about the claims process, as well as meet with a representative of your insurer or the Insurance Council to discuss individual insurance claims,” Mr Hall said

A QRA spokesperson said residents with concerns regarding the status of their insurance claim or the progress of restoration works should contact their insurance company in the first instance.

“If they cannot resolve their issues directly with their insurance company they may wish to contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority on 1800 931 678,” the spokesperson said.

During the storm aftermath there were more than 2,100 calls for SES assistance in Ipswich with teams from all over Queensland, and as far away as South Australia, sending volunteers.

Energex also reported over 3,000 power outages during the storm and the QFES fire and rescue crew conducted almost 1,700 damage assessments in the Ipswich and Logan areas, 1,558 in Ipswich.

Council established The Ipswich Hail Event community information page on Shape Your Ipswich to provide advice and assistance for the thousands of Ipswich residents affected by the storm. 

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