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Tips for insurance claims before cleanup for wind damage

Tips for insurance claims before cleanup for wind damage. (Matt Loughrin WWMT)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The whipping winds made a mess of several West Michigan homes on Wednesday, and the focus shifts to cleanup.

Meteorologist Christina Anthony reports with what homeowners should do after the damage is done.

An area of low pressure spinning over the Hudson Bay, more than 800 miles away from Kalamazoo, sent fierce winds through the area and toppled trees onto homes.

Crews are cleaning up after high winds hit West Michigan on Wednesday after wind gusts exceeding 50 miles-an-hour toppled a tree into a home in Hastings, and tipped this tree into a Galesburg man's house while he was reading a book.

Brad Carpenter, the Galesburg homeowner, said, "It landed on the house. It crushed my car and, thankfully, the tree by hitting my car kept it from going farther down into the house where I was."

Powerful gusts even uprooted an old pine tree in Sharon Wehling's front yard in Kalamazoo and tossed it into her bedroom.

Wehling said, “The wind was really bad. I heard banging, a lot of branches and twigs falling. Then all of a sudden just a big boom.”

Wehling said she saw the tree from her living room window, and immediately called her insurance agent.

State Farm Spokesperson Angie Harrier said that's step one.

Harrier said, "Your second step at that point would be to take photos of the damage. Document it the best way that you can. Photos are probably the best way, but making lists of inventory that is damaged, too."

Insurance companies, like State Farm, will prioritize claims depending on the severity of damage.

Harrier encourages homeowners to save receipts for items purchased to make temporary repairs, and to keep track of the hours spent protecting their house in the meantime.

Storm damage typically falls into the category of sudden and accidental, which Harrier says is exactly what insurance is for.

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