Thursday, July 10, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night...

June 24th The Storm: It was a dark and stormy night (cue ominous music here) when around 11:00 p.m. the distant thunder boomed. Our area had been experiencing nightly lightening storms so we didn't give the building tempest much thought. Little did we know that thanks to a slow moving front, we were about to endure an hour onslaught of intense rain and damaging hail.

Once the rain reached flash-flood proportions, we all gathered around the sliding glass door to gawk and join our "WOW's" in chorus.  It was truly phenomenal.  Next the hail began to grow more plentiful and disturbingly more chubby. There were more "WOW's" as the roar on the roof increased in volume and we became concerned our new windows might be in danger of breaking.

After the deluge had been going for what seemed a very long time, our thoughts turned to the basement. Yep, water was filling up the window wells 3+ feet deep. Not only was water seeping through three seals but we had H2O squirting like a water fountain from the worst offending window. While Rheid and Josh donned rain gear and bailed out the submerging window wells, Josh's friend Nathan, who has been living with us for the past three weeks, toted one rubbermaid storage container full of water after another up the basement stairs. Since the storm was still raging, all I could do was pray no one got struck by lightening. It was about 2 a.m. before we were able to head off to bed.

Stepped out on the front porch to take this picture that night by our
front door, then a bolt of lightening sent me scurrying back in!

We knew from the ferocity of the storm that our trees, shrubs, flowers and garden were shredded but it was not until the next morning that we could survey the damage.

Because of the icy ground, when the sun started to warm the air,
a mist rose up making a spooky fog. This is the view looking
out our sliding glass door. Poor tree lost many leaves and our
apple tree around the corner is hammered.
Two hail drifts appeared on our front sidewalk over a foot deep.
The ice was so compacted that it lasted over two days in 90+
degree weather and full afternoon sun.
South end of my garden box that used to be home to thriving
green beans and onions--now just bean stalks. The onions, though
flattened, are now starting to look like we will get about 80% of
them to maturity.

What was once a very fine tomato plant is now a tall stick with
a flattened zucchini plant to its left--neither one survived. Two
tomatoes on the other side of the garden may pull through;
they still had some leaves left towards the bottom.

No this is not a lake. This is the baseball diamond and field adjacent
to our neighborhood elementary school. Crazy.

The Aftermath: Garden needed to be replanted. But with it being so far into the growing season already, I doubt we will get much more than onions to harvest this year. Our shrubs and tree leaves looked like they have been through a war--leaf shrapnel plastered all the sidewalks, lawns, and gutters.
Our apple tree lost 2/3rds of its apples and what's left are covered in pock marks.  Curses, we had even remembered to spray the tree for worms early this spring!

Our roof, like those of the entire neighborhood is a total loss. We were declared a catastrophic area by the insurance companies so adjusters were out in force inspecting the damage. Unfortunately, roofers and disaster specialists of every kind came out in force as well. Lots of annoying phone calls and people at the door wanting to give us free estimates to fix our hail damage.

But luckily we are in Good Hands and they will replace our roof and damaged window frames (yes, the new ones we put in only 5 months ago and are still paying on.)  There is also touch-up painting that will need to be done. We will be out our deductible but it could be worse. Hopefully our rates won't skyrocket due to all the money insurers are paying out in our area. When you enter the neighborhood now, half the houses are sporting lawn signs. It looks like Realtor's Gone Wild! Only at closer inspection, the signs are all different roofing companies who mark their territory like dogs at a fire hydrant.

Allstate Amy, an insurance adjuster from Texas, surveys the damage.

The hailstorm reminded us that the safety of our family and neighbors is really what matters most. Because after the dark and stormy night has past, things can always be fixed or replaced.