Craig recovers from windstorm

Gusts that approached hurricane force swept through area Friday

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If the windstorm in Craig blew 4 mph faster Friday, winds would have reached hurricane force.

As it was, the National Weather Service recorded wind speeds of 70 mph at the Craig-Moffat County Airport during the storm.

Immediately after the storm, the local Farm Bureau Insurance agency re--ceived 30 calls from clients whose properties were damaged.

On Monday morning, clients called in a dozen more complaints. Farm Bureau Insurance agent Sue Lyster said most other insurance companies probably received a similar volume of complaints. She said the Farm Bureau's Denver office had received calls from across the state.

It could take some time for the claims to be answered, Lyster said.

"Unfortunately, it's not one of those things that goes quickly," Lyster said. "When you have one or two people, it goes through quickly. But when you have dozens of people, it can take awhile."

Most people complained of damage to their roofs, Lyster said. The high winds blew shingles off the clients' houses. The most serious complaints Lyster received were of barns and sheds that had been blown down.

Insurance companies will send claims adjusters to assess the cost of the damage that clients reported, Lyster said. Much of the damage likely won't cost enough to meet insurance deductibles, she said.

Some broadcasters in Craig also took a blow Friday.

Craig's local TV station, K27, and some Steam-boat Springs radio stations still were off the air Monday. Dan Olsen, K27 news director, didn't know when the station would be back on the air.

"We're hoping by the end of the day we have a timeline," Olsen said Monday.

During the down time, Ol--sen and the K27 news team have kept busy by revamping the opening and closing to the news show, making commercials and sending tapes out to viewers who wanted copies of news segments.

Moffat County owns the 60-foot H-shaped towers from which the TV and radio antennas hung.

The towers were insured, Moffat County budget analyst Tinneal Gerber said.

But as of Monday, the county commissioners had not discussed what to do about the towers, Commissioner Saed Tayyara said.

"My feeling is, if we repair it, the cost should go to the people who are using it," Tayyara said.

For the past year, K27 has been the only TV station that Craig residents without cable or satellite service could receive with their antennas.

The wind blew trees and tree limbs onto electrical lines and knocked out power for about 350 Craig residents, Yampa Vall-ey Electric Association spokes--man Jim Chappell said.

Their power had been restored by Friday evening.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdaily-press.com.

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