This is a hailstorm not a snowstorm!!!!
The hailstones, described as “golf ball size,” created a path of destruction, leaving residents to pick up the mess the day after.
Resident Karen Till said she was at home during the frightening storm.
“It was deafening loud,” she said of the storm that hit around 4:30 p.m. “Those hailstones were so hard, they were like ice cubes.”
Till’s home in the Canals area received some damage.
“Our roof is really bad,” said Till, adding that she found pieces of her roof on her lawn the day after.
Till’s husband and older son were near the neighbourhood of Waterstone in two separate vehicles when the storm hit.
Till says her husband told her that at one point there were a few “egg sized” hail stones.
The side mirrors on the Till’s van were shattered during the storm and their backyard garden was completely destroyed.
The north side of Sagewood resident Rob Jamieson’s home was “demolished” during the storm.
Storm clouds on the horizon
During the storm he was at work, and his car received a few dents and cracks.
“Honestly my very first thought was to make sure my wife was OK ‘cause she runs a day home,” he said. “I never really thought about what damage was being done at home.”
All three vehicles Jamieson and his wife own were damaged but are still drivable.
The storm developed on the foothills around 3:30 p.m. and pelted Airdrie for about 15 minutes.
During that time, 24 calls were made to the Airdrie RCMP ranging from alarms to motor vehicle collisions, including a five-car pileup on Yankee Valley Boulevard.
Two less severe storms rolled through later in the evening, carrying hail and rain.
Dan Kulak, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada, says Airdrie might not be out of the woods just yet.
“It’s still summer, it’s still storm season and we have to be vigilant,” he said, adding residents should seek shelter during a storm.
Kulak explains that residents shouldn’t just worry about severe storms, but also look out for smaller ones.
Egg size hailstones
“In a given year, your greatest threats are lightening,” says Kulak, explaining that lightening and windstorms cause a few deaths every year on average.
In 2013, thunderstorm warnings were issued in Airdrie, Crossfield and area on June 7, 29 and 30. They were later issued on July 4, 6, 22, 23, 25 and on Aug. 11, 12 and 29.
This year, thunderstorm warnings have only been issued on July 6, 17 and 23, as well as on Aug. 6 and 7.
Tanya Page, with Western Financial Group, said the company received 25 after-hour claims following the storm.
Page explains that most insurance companies cover hail damage.
“It all depends on what your claims history is and the insurer you’re with,” she said.
She adds that homeowners should take steps, such as covering up holes in siding to prevent water getting in, as insurance companies are very busy right now.
As far as vehicle damage, Page says, “get the glass replaced and hold onto that receipt,” so the vehicle can be used.