Lamar’s Billboard Losses Total $14 Mil.

DALLAS Lamar Advertising Co. suffered $14 million in hurricane damage to its billboards in Louisiana and Mississippi, but the company said new designs for its outdoor displays will reduce future storm repair costs.

Keith Istre, CFO of the Baton Rouge, La., company, said the recent storms would allow the company “to replace existing inventory with wind-resistant structures that are much more durable and have a much higher wind-resistance rating.”

While many of the existing billboards could withstand winds of up to 110 mph, the new designs will be able to handle winds as high as 140 mph to 150 mph, he said.

Instead of having a solid face, the new billboards will resemble a frame to which vinyl sheets of ad messages will be attached. Only the vinyl ad surface, worth about $800, would be lost in a storm, Istre said.

Lamar expects its billboards in Mississippi and Louisiana to be repaired by early next year. The company said it could not project when normal business operations would resume.