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Blair, Nebraska Hail Storm Damage
June 5, 2014 7:11 PM   Subscribe


 
Terrifying and heartbreaking seeing all that damage
posted by greenhornet at 7:17 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Wow. Just wow. I had to walk across the room and show this one to my wife. Truly amazing.
posted by 4ster at 7:18 PM on June 5


Man, I can't even imagine being caught in that in a car... Windshield shattered and trying to stop on a road covered in crushed ice? No thanks!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


...on second thought, I guess it's better than being caught on foot!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:22 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Je-sus. I thought I'd seen some big hail storms. That is positively apocalyptic.
posted by smoke at 7:22 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Hail with high winds is a motherfucker. A storm came through my part of St. Louis in 2000 that caused so much damage that State Farm took a year off from writing any new home owners insurance policies in the area. When hail can dent the meaty part of the A or B pillar on a car you know it's bad.
posted by stltony at 7:24 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Holy Mackerel. We saw an amazing thunderstorm about 50 miles from there last month. It was fun to watch but I guess you gotta remember how dangerous they can become. Hope no-one was hurt.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:25 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Bet the insurer for that car dealership wishes they were dead right about now.
posted by axiom at 7:26 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]




The radar had 70dbz cores and hail signatures with the > 4 inch icons. It was amazing how skinny this crazy intense reflectivity was on the radar further up that storm. It also tried to get a hook just before home. Seems that likely helped do some more intense wind damage stuff around Hooper and Craig areas.

I'm getting a Kerouac vibe from the way this guy writes. I like it. And wish that I actually understood it.
posted by kanewai at 7:32 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Holy shit. I'm from Blair, although I haven't been back there in a while. Weird to see it like this.
posted by COBRA! at 7:36 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Those photos. Holy hell. I'm scared enough for the people, but what does wildlife do in that kind of hailstorm?

It's 2014 fitting that I let the storm go because of the higher potential play later and for that to go to hell and the storm to go nuts right through home. I'd have loved to been there sitting in my car in it.

Of all the insane comments. I admire this person's bravery, but seriously?
posted by quiet earth at 7:40 PM on June 5


70dbz cores and hail signatures with the > 4 inch icons
"crazy hail spike" photo from a couple of days ago on r/weather. Not really sure what it is though. My storm chasing knowledge is looking out the window and saying oh, the sky is green!
posted by Bee'sWing at 7:40 PM on June 5


Heck yeah.
posted by arcticseal at 7:45 PM on June 5


Never going outside again.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Bet the insurer for that car dealership wishes they were dead right about now.

Acts of god are insured?
posted by dobbs at 7:48 PM on June 5


Man videos of that hail are unreal. It's like someone's standing off camera tossing ice balls. I love me some storms but holy christ.
posted by sio42 at 7:54 PM on June 5


Wow. I heard about hail damage from this storm on NPR but they didn't say it was like a zombie fucking apocalypse wasteland.
posted by odinsdream at 7:56 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Of all the insane comments. I admire this person's bravery, but seriously?

Speaking as a (semi-former) part-time chaser/full-time producer-reporter ... yeah. There's a certain kind of person who runs toward disaster, camera in hand, and curses when we miss it.

I nearly took a position at a much lower-market station recently, just because I was guaranteed to see tornado action.

We're all a little bit reckless -- we think we know the steps we can take to keep ourselves safe, skirt around the hook formation, barricade our vehicles. It'll never be enough when the big one hits, and we're lying to ourselves if we think otherwise.

But I know how this guy feels.
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 8:01 PM on June 5 [4 favorites]


Those photos. Holy hell. I'm scared enough for the people, but what does wildlife do in that kind of hailstorm?

It depends if a hailstone hits it and it dies?
posted by Sebmojo at 8:06 PM on June 5


So you're probably pretty dead if you get caught out in an open field during that, right?
posted by codacorolla at 8:10 PM on June 5


Acts of god are insured?

Hail coverage is available with fairly pricey deductibles (think $1k or more per vehicle). There are specialized hail plans that limit the number of vehicles they cover, too, though that would be a small fraction of the 4000 vehicles claimed damaged here. Still, with that many cars and that kind of crazy hail damage, it would be worth it to pay the deductible, I'd think.
posted by axiom at 8:11 PM on June 5


I'd bet real money that their insurance companies will tell all of these people to go and fuck themselves.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:20 PM on June 5


These pictures are stunning, especially the damaged to the siding. I had no idea it was possible for hail to cause that kind of damage.
posted by Flashman at 8:21 PM on June 5


Acts of god are insured?

I can't recall if it's part of a standard policy or not, but wind and hailstorm coverage is definitely something you can buy (caveat: I'm in Canada). They even cover removing debris from your yard. If you're in an area that gets hailstorms, it's a good thing to have.

Auto insurance though I have no idea. I don't remember it coming up TBH.
posted by Hoopo at 8:28 PM on June 5


I bet that Jeep dealership ends up totaling all those cars. Even if they get repaired, they can't be sold as new any longer, not at list price. And the amount of body damage, not to mention all the windows, would cost more than they would be worth.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:28 PM on June 5


I was caught in part of this in Omaha. I was waiting for my bus and in 15 minutes, the sky turned black and unleashed holy hell. My bus was one minute away, but it was so dark, and there was so much lightning, that I turned and fled to the nearest building, running through a lake that used to be a road. Moments after I got indoors, it sounded as though baseballs fell into the building, and twenty minutes later it was done. When I went to catch the next bus, there was a layer of hail on the ground like snow, all of it steaming, creating a instant fog.

Never seen anything like it, and never been so scared of a storm, and I lived through tropical storms in New Orleans. This was the fist of god.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:33 PM on June 5 [31 favorites]


I was surprised that the hail seems to have pretty much melted away in those pictures.

The most damaging hail storm we have had locally (aftermath in a youtube slideshow here - note all the white stuff is hail, not snow!) had huge drifts of hail hanging around most of the following day too. And that was still pretty much midsummer.
posted by lollusc at 8:35 PM on June 5


I think it may have been this storm? The time frame is right, anyway. That's some real end-of-days shit, right there.
posted by codacorolla at 8:48 PM on June 5


Holy hell. I'm scared enough for the people, but what does wildlife do in that kind of hailstorm?

I don't even want to think about all the livestock out on pasture without shelters....

My horses would go through the fences trying to escape. I can't imagine they would go under the shelters--it would sound like Thor's hammer on the metal roofing (and that's assuming the roofing held.)
posted by BlueHorse at 9:24 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Lots of vinyl siding there.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:30 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Holy cow! And here I thought I was in a bad hail storm in Missouri in 2009 while on a road trip - it exploded the side mirror and left dents all over. We pulled off at the next exit and cowered under a gas station overhang with as many cars as could be squeezed under. After it passed, we got back on the road and saw a trailer loaded with cars with nary a windshield among them and dents all over.

I still have a dent in my roof that the PDR guy didn't see at the time.
posted by bookdragoness at 9:36 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


axiom: "Bet the insurer for that car dealership wishes they were dead right about now."

Eh, worst case scenario is the reinsurer's problem.

Fortunately hailstorms are pretty predictable, and the midwest has a good alert system for tornados and hail. You'd have to be pretty new to the area to decide driving was a good idea for the duration of the storm. The Home Depot, on the other hand, probably had a field day selling plywood.
posted by pwnguin at 10:09 PM on June 5


Wow that last pic with the siding just stripped completely off the house is amazing.

Chocolate Pickle: "I bet that Jeep dealership ends up totaling all those cars. Even if they get repaired, they can't be sold as new any longer, not at list price. And the amount of body damage, not to mention all the windows, would cost more than they would be worth."

Replace the glass and mark them down to 50% of invoice. Lots of people will buy a beater jeep with zero miles if the deal is good enough. You'll have no trouble selling them. And they'd still be new cars because they haven't been registered yet.
posted by Mitheral at 11:10 PM on June 5


I'd bet real money that their insurance companies will tell all of these people to go and fuck themselves.

So did the insurance companies.
posted by one_bean at 11:53 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Yep. Last time I was there we had similarly-destructive hail. The entire town was missing windshields. Scary as hell to go through.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:21 AM on June 6


The insurance companies will have their own insurance with reinsurers so the losses for this will ultimately get spread around a bit.
posted by kersplunk at 3:41 AM on June 6


Acts of god are insured?

Storm damage is. This was part of a storm. At least in my neck of the midwest, about the only "act of god" that isn't part of a standard homeowner's policy is flood damage, which you can buy as an add-on.

But, you can bet your first-born that insurers are doing everything they can to weasel out of paying...Or sending teams into the affected areas immediately, to take advantage of stunned and confused customers and quickly cut checks for thousands less than what it will actually take to repair the damage.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:58 AM on June 6


I bet that Jeep dealership ends up totaling all those cars. Even if they get repaired, they can't be sold as new any longer, not at list price. And the amount of body damage, not to mention all the windows, would cost more than they would be worth.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:28 PM on June 5 [+] [!]


We had this one a few years back. And it wasn't just that tens of thousands of cars were written off because repair cost was greater than replacement value. It was also about the engineering of modern car bodies. If you put a solid dent in the right place (actual example from a friends car - middle of the roof where it meets the windscreen) you set up potential for catastrophic failure in certain types of accidents. So the police deregistered and stripped plates from almost as many as the insurers wrote off.
posted by Ahab at 4:06 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


hail damage sale?
posted by robbyrobs at 4:43 AM on June 6


The rain from that storm alone was pretty terrifying. The runoff scoured all of the sod from the corner of our yard and then eroded out a two foot deep hole. This part of the yard sits behind a ten foot retaining wall. At least our wall was standing at the end of the storm. Two houses up a retaining wall fell into the house next door and tore up the siding really well. It all pales in comparison to the neighbor across the street though. Storm runoff was so voluminous and moving so fast that it washed out a wall to their basement.

There was a report on the local SkyWarn ham net of one location getting an inch of rain in just over a minute. Overall we received almost 20% of our average annual rainfall in this single event...and we're not even an especially dry part of the country.

I really feel for the folks just up the street in Blair. The worst part for them is to come. Between haggling with the insurance company and finding a decent contractor who can fit you in before winter, post-storm life is hell. Not to mention, dealing with the auto insurer, finding a replacement car, and coming up with all of the various deductibles. Ugh. We went through a similar storm (baseball to softball sized hail but only 50 mph winds) almost three years ago. By the end of this summer I should have the repair work wrapped up. All that is left is patching the wood siding and painting.
posted by Fezboy! at 5:03 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


I haaaaaaaaaaate hailstorms, even when it's just the teeny stuff that stings if you happen to be outside in it. It's so NOISY that it's terrifying even when it's not doing any real damage.

Biggest I've personally seen is golfballs, and that was plenty big enough, THANKS. I was in my car one time for stuff that was in the nickle/quarter range -- started tiny, then there was a very brief blast of this bigger stuff, and I started screaming at the top of my lungs and screamed the whole time it hailed at me, and the hail was SO NOISY on the car that I couldn't hear myself scream. It was like being inside a snare drum. I screamed and screamed until the noise stopped ... like the only way I could cope with the terrifying level of noise was to make noise back at it. It was visceral and irrational and I had a sore throat for two days after. I still kinda shudder when I think about it, and I just hate it when I hear hail hitting my windows.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:32 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


More validation of my contention that plastic siding sucks.

How inexpensive is that vinyl siding looking now?
posted by sonascope at 5:38 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Jeepers, looking at US houses I'm often reminded of that Simpsons' episode where they're in Japan and just start walking through the rice paper walls.

Or, well, the Sam Vimes "boots" theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
posted by pseudocode at 6:00 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


So you're probably pretty dead if you get caught out in an open field during that, right?

This, and the comments about livestock, always makes me wonder about a poor Plains Indian encampment caught out in a tornado or bad hailstorm like this.
posted by resurrexit at 6:19 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]




So you're probably pretty dead if you get caught out in an open field during that, right?

Almost certainly so.
posted by sonascope at 6:26 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


There was a hailstorm like this in my town when I was in high school. We lived outside the city limits on a small dirt road with about 6 other homes (but we're out in the country though so everyone's pretty far apart). Being poor and living in an old house, we would wrap the north side of the house in plastic to break the wind in the winter. Well, springtime rolls around and we haven't gotten around to take the plastic off yet when a hailstorm comes through. Every single one of the other houses on the block had every single window broken out, siding broken off, screen/storm doors ruined, etc. But us, the poor people on the block in that crappy little house, no damage at all!

Also, my dad worked nights as a nurse at the local hospital and we only had one car. So we would take him work in the evening and then on pick him up on his lunchbreak, he would bring us back home and then take the car for the rest of the night. Just out of habit, he parks in the parking garage, so no damage to our car either! I think we were the only family in the region that had no damage whatsoever from the hailstorm.

This is one of my favorite stories. One of the only times that being poor actually helped out for once!
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:43 AM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Acts of god are insured?

This was weather, not divine wrath. That'd make an interesting court case, though, an insurer trying to show that there were supernatural powers behind this storm.

But seriously though, the "acts of god" loophole has to be the biggest bullshit ever. If you can't get recouped for the unforeseeable catastrophes, what's the point of having insurance at all?
posted by explosion at 6:46 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


My car was trashed in the 1995 Fort Worth hailstorm. I was working in a giant flat-roofed former grocery store that was converted to a Borders. The sound was terrifying and I could do nothing but watch the cars in the parking lot get pounded, including mine. Poor little Honda was never the same.

When I got home all the apartments in my complex had lost windows.

Of course what most people remember is pictures of attendees at the Mayfest outdoor festival with blood running down their faces from being struck by hail. Luckily no one died.
posted by emjaybee at 6:48 AM on June 6


explosion: But seriously though, the "acts of god" loophole has to be the biggest bullshit ever. If you can't get recouped for the unforeseeable catastrophes, what's the point of having insurance at all?

It's not a "loophole," it's an exemption. You are covered, except for (some) acts of god. Here's a page on 'Acts of God' clauses in insurance coverage (warning: auto-playing video ad on the right-hand side). In short: what is and isn't covered varies from plan to plan, and not all weather events are deemed "acts of god."

As for car insurance, because most coverage is for crashes (with other vehicles, people, or objects), "acts of god" coverage are often extra.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:15 AM on June 6


Damn that hail just broke everything!
posted by Mister_A at 8:09 AM on June 6


Now I know why people holler, "Damn you to hail!"
posted by Mister_A at 8:09 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


South Carolina got nailed by hail, my friend's van was totaled by insurance.

As for insurance, it's not Act's of God, it's WAR. Weather War.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:13 AM on June 6


My favorite hailstorm story - My girlfriend and I bought a car together. A really nice nice 89 Camry. Cost like 4200 bucks. WI didn't require insurance at the time, but because we financed, we had to get comprehensive.

Had the car less than two weeks and a hailstorm with golfball and larger hail blew through. The lowest damage estimate was 4600 dollars. We got a check from the insurance company a month later.

Hey, free car!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:31 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


These pictures are stunning, especially the damaged to the siding. I had no idea it was possible for hail to cause that kind of damage.

If you dig around YouTube for more hail videos, you can actually find some of people who have recorded neighboring homes getting pummeled with this size of hail, and you can watch the windows get broken out, the siding shattered and stripped. It's terrifying watching it, I can't imagine being in it - seeing that kind of damage would make me start doubting that the roof would be sufficient to protect me...
posted by evilangela at 9:38 AM on June 6


I'm hoping theres some genial country name for the chewed up bits of tree that now forms a green carpet on everything after a hail storm, that someone can enlighten us to.

Just spitballin here: treeguts? hailcruft? leafymayhem?
posted by fontophilic at 1:53 PM on June 6


Yeah, I've seen storms like this. Sometime I will have to post the scan of my 1968 weather notebook I did as homework in elementary school. Here is just one page. The photographer got to this scene rather late, those hailstones were the size of softballs. A cross-section of one of the hailstones from that storm, taken under polarized light to show the accretion layers, made the cover of Scientific American Magazine.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:49 PM on June 6


My first thought was this.

I believe that makes me a bad person.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:44 AM on June 7


Leafymayhem?

Fall-age
posted by arcticseal at 11:33 AM on June 7


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