The Texas Department of Public Safety said it responded to 49 overturned semis in the Texas Panhandle region that were knocked down by those strong winds.
Many of those tractors and trailers spent at least a week sitting in the lots of towing companies, such as T-Miller Wrecker Service in Amarillo.
“We probably did 20, 25 total calls with tractor-trailers involved in the wind and what the wind did to them,” said David Ferril, safety manager of T-Miller Wrecker Service.
Thirteen of those were overturned semis and four of them are left on the property now.
“Some of the trucks and trailers we either took directly to the body shops or took them if they had a terminal here in Amarillo, we took them directly to the terminal,” said Ferril.
Ferril said insurance adjusters visited the lot recently to assess the damage of the trucks, and more were expected to come in the few days following.
“The adjusters will go to the body shop, and then they can make the decision from there whether they’re salvageable or if they need to be repaired or sent to a salvage yard or salvage pool,” he said.
One of those shops is Utility Trailers, which is expecting 15 damaged trailers and more to come in for estimates.
“Every day, basically, I’m out looking at trailers and doing estimates on those trailers that blew over in that particular day,” said Douglas Franklin, service manager at Utility Trailers Southeast Sales. “They’re coming from all over the Panhandle where they actually blew over on their sides.”
Franklin said most of the ones he’s seen so far have sustained what he calls “cosmetic damage.”
“Mainly it’s road rash. It’s basically what most of the ones I’ve looked at so far,” he said. “And what I mean by ‘road rash’ is scratches down the side, eating the lights off of them, eating the panels up and stuff like that.
“Those repairs will run anywhere from $1,500 on up and completely total to a $75,000 trailer, depending on the damage on the trailer.”
While repairs can take a week to 10 days, companies such as Utility Trailers have months of work ahead of them.
“Let’s say the next three to four months,” said Franklin. “I’m already taking jobs in for a couple of months out right now.”