WHEAT RIDGE, COLO. - We know Colorado Mills was hit hard by the May 8 hail storm, but that isn't all.
Building officials for the city of Wheat Ridge say around half of the homeowners in the city likely suffered roof damage from the storm.
7,000 permits have been filed for roof repairs since May 8, according to Brian Tardif, the chief building official in Wheat Ridge. There are 14,000 homes in the city.
"I don't think anybody has seen this kind of level of damage," Tardif says, "I mean, it was daunting."
Filing permits for roof repairs can be difficult because it's a complicated process that each contractor can view differently, officials say. They think some homeowners aren't filing permits at all, which is required in Wheat Ridge.
Inspectors and permits techs have been overwhelmed with the number of people who need help, Tardif explains. Some inspectors are working overtime to meet the demand.
"Our job is to make sure the roof is being completed correctly for the homeowner," Tardif said.
Typically, the 6 inspectors in Wheat Ridge look at around 70 homes a day total, Tardif said. Since May 8, inspectors are touring around 180 homes per day because the demand is so high.
Roofing inspections since the hailstorm now account for over half of all inspections completed this year, officials said.
Tardif says inspections are critical because they help keep contractors accountable.
From May 8 to July 20, the city completed 4,749 inspections with several thousand more to go. Officials believe it can take a year to fully recover from the destructive storm.
"None of us were prepared for it," Tardif said, "it's been a challenge."
Wheat Ridge was denied resources from neighboring cities like Lakewood and Denver because those cities have been overwhelmed after May 8, too. Contractors from California flew in to help the city navigate permits and inspections.
The May 8 hailstorm is one of the most expensive storms in the history of our state, experts said.
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