MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Two weeks since hailstones up to tennis ball-sized fell in parts of West Michigan, the damage repair is just beginning for many homeowners.

On April 4, a supercell tore through portions of Allegan, Barry and Ionia counties. A stretch from Hopkins to Lake Odessa was the hardest hit, with many in the path seeing hail stones of at least the size of golf ball.

In the Misty Ridge neighborhood in Middleville Tuesday, there were holes in siding and survey crews are out assessing damage. Nearly every home in the neighborhood will likely need a new roof.

Topps Roofing owner David Wielhouwer was among those in the storm’s path.

“Boy, next thing we know, we hear the clinking, the hitting on the windows and looking out the windows. Next thing you know, they’re turning into golf balls,” Wielhouwer said.

The Wielhouwers have to replace not only their roof, but also their screens and family vehicle.

“It looks like we’re going to have a total damage on the whole body of the vehicle. They said they’re probably going to have to cover the whole thing for us,” he said.

Plus, his business has seen a spike in demand.

“I would say everybody in Middleville, all the way to the Wayland area. I’ve heard some Hopkins phone calls as well that we’ve gotten,” Wielhouwer said.

While not always visible, hail strike damage that aren’t treated properly can lead to more headaches in the future.

“As far as hail damage goes, what you look for on a roof is marks, they’re called hail strikes,” Wielhouwer said. “You’re looking for multiple hail strikes on a roof in different areas. What happens is it takes off the granules on your roof in those certain specific areas and eventually those areas become very bare and the water starts to whirlpool, it’s called, into those holes.”

Damage assessment in Middleville on April 18, 2023, two weeks after a hail storm.
Damage assessment in Middleville on April 18, 2023, two weeks after a hail storm.

Homeowners in the neighborhood told News 8 their doorbells began ringing almost immediately after the storm with all kinds of offers from contractors offering to repair the damage. One homeowner was on spring break when it happened. Assessors were looking at hail strikes on his roof Tuesday. Another homeowner just down the street had three cars outside when the storm hit, each of which will likely be totaled. She told News 8 it will be a lengthy process before the claims on her home and vehicles are settled.

Middleville-area insurance agencies have been inundated with claims of home and vehicle damage Jeff Bohms’ State Farm office itself received damage to some screens and siding.

“The last few weeks have been the craziest claim activity that we’ve had in my almost 13 years of being here,” Bohms said.

  • Hail in the Wayland area on April 4, 2023. (Courtesy John Weesie)
  • Hail in the Wayland area on April 4, 2023. (Courtesy John Weesie)

It will take a while for all of the affected roofs and siding to be repaired. Bohms said repairing vehicles may take even longer.

“With the body shops being the way they are right now, with parts being backed up and shops being backed up, that’s just adding to it,” Bohms said.

The damage left behind was so extensive that State Farm sent its catastrophe team to survey the scene. The team indeed declared the area a catastrophe, allowing for additional resources to assist with damage claims.

Bohms said the first step to repairing any damage left behind is getting with your insurance company.

“What I’m telling my insurance and all of our customers is … get somebody out to take a look at it,” Bohms said. “Get with your insurance agent and that way they can see if you have a claim or not.”