The understatement of the year.
finished our spring planting. I had
told Brian how nice of a job he'd done on our front yard. I had
said after dinner that evening (despite the weather forecast), "I really don't think we're going to get any of this rain tonight".
And then the wall cloud came in.
Night fell, we all went to sleep (for a little while) and then it started. First, a soft rain shower, quickly followed by a couple of lightening strikes with almost-simultaneous thunderclaps. My first thought: "Oh no. This is going to keep me awake for a while."
Not long after that, the tap-tap-tap of small hailstones started banging against the house. Now I'm
awake. My next thought: "Oh, no. The cars". Almost immediately the storm's intensity increased -
. Brian flew out of bed to look out the windows. I flew out of bed and put in my contacts - it was obvious at this point that I needed to be able to see further than six inches from my nose.
I looked out the front window once and could only see my pretty, just-planted hanging baskets whipping around in the wind. I checked on Sam and he was curled up in a ball, snoozing away. Unbelievable! I decided to leave him in his bed, hoping the hail would just suddenly stop. I looked out the back windows and could only see horizontal rain and hail. It got louder and louder and, as Brian later put it, just when we thought it couldn't possibly get any louder, it did. It was the most unbelievable sound. The scariest weather event I've ever experienced. Straight-line winds, 80 miles-per-hour, quarter sized hail coming from the west.
I shouted to Brian "I don't know what to do" (it was hard to hear each other), and then decided at that moment to get Sam and take him to our guest bathroom, which is in the center-most part of the house. Brian got us settled in there and then ran for the laptop so that we could pull up radar and find out how much more of this we had to endure.
I bet we were only in there for another thirty seconds, or so. But it was a scary thirty seconds! Brian said later he was waiting for the roof to fly off the house because it seemed like that was where this was heading next. We were convinced that if there had been a tornado or if the sirens had gone off, there's no way we would have heard them, it was so loud!
The hail finally stopped, the rain went down to just a sprinkle and we took a deep breath! We called Gram and Pops, talked to a friend on the phone, then tried to get some sleep. Sam went down easy, but it took Brian and I a couple of hours to get back to sleep, we were so shaky and sick-to-our stomachs.
The next morning we surveyed the damage. Our bedroom window was broken, our cars dented, my windshield cracked. The flowers were smashed - the leaves that managed to hang on looked chewed-up and the stems were banged up. And the fences - oh the fences! Surprisingly, only one flower pot was smashed, and Sandbox-Turtle made it through without a ding! There were leaves, flowers, glass, plastic and roof pieces everywhere. The sidewalks crunched as you walked! Neighbors reported hail smashing through windows, through wood blinds, and down hallways. One neighbor told us she was up collecting a bucket's worth of hail from her spare bedroom at one in the morning.
Right after Brian left for work, Sam called for me from his bed. I went in his room, he rubbed his sleepy eyes and said, "Mama, it's too noisy!". No kidding buddy, no kidding.
Turns out we needed new cars, a new fence, a new roof, a new window, several new screens and some other cosmetic touch-ups here-and-there. The neighborhood's a mess and still crawling with roofers and contractors looking for business. Brian's been busy talking with our home and car insurance companies. It's amazing how much time and money it will take the community to fix just several minutes worth of storm damage. Fortunately we're all safe and sound and the inside of the house is completely untouched!
2011's been a roller coaster of a year so far. It's only April - here's hoping for a calm and relaxing summer? Please?
outside of fence, west-facing
7:30 am, some hail still left, not yet melted
plenty of hail left, seven hours later with temps in the 50s or 60s...
our bedroom window - we were fortunate, only the outer pane broke, so no glass in the bedroom
other neighbors weren't so lucky
Mama's poor car, facing west, little to block the hail
the windshield cracked a few hours after picture taken
Brian talking to one of many roofers looking for business
we've had a crash-course in roofing standards and construction
we'll learn more in the coming weeks, I'm sure
gotta end with a Sam pic - apparently it's now too sunny!