Each year during the first weekend in May, an event called Mayfest takes place in Trinity Park in Fort Worth. The event lasts several days and draws large crowds of people. It also frequently draws rain or other bad weather to dampen the spirits of the people attending.
In 1995, the weather outdid itself in nastiness. On May 5th, some 10,000 people were in attendance when a hailstorm hit. This wasn’t just any hailstorm, though. Hail the size of baseballs pounded much of the city, injuring at least 100 people. Lightning and flooding from the storm killed at least 13 people. With that many people out in the open at Mayfest, I’m surprised the injury total wasn’t much heavier than it was.
Sharon and I were at home when this storm hit, so we weren’t exposed to the bodily damage so many suffered, but property damage is another matter. The photo below, taken by Tim Marshall, was not of our roof, but it was typical of what happened. Our shake roof was completely destroyed by the storm, leading us to replace it with a light steel roof that’s supposed to be several times stronger.
At the time, in addition to our two cars, we had a conversion van we used for road trips. Since we had a two-car carport, that left one vehicle uncovered. Since Sharon can’t stand cold and I can’t stand heat, we left the van out on the driveway in the winter and her car out during the summer.
The photo below was taken by Tim Marshall and was not of our car. However, it does look a lot like Sharon’s Mercury Grand Marquis after the storm passed. We stood in the carport and watch as the four-inch diameter hail struck the car and the driveway. It was a most amazing sight.
Body shops, glass companies and roofing contractors all over the area must have gotten rich in the aftermath of this storm. I had a friend in the roofing business, and we got that taken care of reasonably soon. Glass companies set up on several large parking lots to replace auto glass, but it took us several months to get Sharon’s car into a body shop to get the dents removed or the panels replaced.
What’s the biggest hail you have seen?
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