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Storms crisis for some, boon for others:

January 1, 2007

When two separate storms boasting 80-mile-per-hour winds and massive hail hit the Indianapolis area in April, it was just the beginning of headaches for some.

For others, it was the beginning of a lot of green.

A storm on April 2 produced straightline winds that knocked out windows and tore away portions of the façade at downtown's One Indiana Square office tower. The city was forced to close Pennsylvania Street for days to keep cars and pedestrians away from the danger of falling debris.

The office building's owners-Todd Maurer, Pittsburgh-based McKnight Development Co. and IBJ co-owners Michael Maurer and Robert Schloss-lined up temporary space for tenants.

The owners plan to replace the 1970 building's façade but are still weighing their options.

Home and car owners suffered the wrath of an April 14 storm that caused flooding and produced golf-ball- to baseball-sized hail for several minutes, leaving damaged cars and rooftops in its wake.

For insurers, the April 14 storm was the most destructive local event in recent history. According to New Jersey-based ISO Property Claim Services unit, a group that tracks the cost of disasters, 277,500 insurance claims were filed due to the storm stemming from $1.2 billion in damage.

Because of the storm, roofers and car body shops were deluged with business.

Illinois-based State Farm, which insures more Indiana homes than any other company, received more than 43,000 homeowner claims from the storm, spurring payouts topping $200 million.

Another big insurer of central Indiana homes, locally based Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance Co., also has settled more than 90 percent of the 6,581 homeowner claims it has received since the storm, paying out $46.5 million.
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