Last night Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma residents were pounded by golf ball and baseball sized hail. Propelled by winds in excess of 60mph, these miniature cannon balls wreaked havoc on glass, wood, siding, metal (as in cars), and nerves.
I have 8 windows that face west — 7 of them were shattered. Most were broken in several different places and quite a bit of hail actually survived the storm window and the 80+ year old original glass windows. Many flew under the closet door where my dog, cat and I were hiding. So did chards of glass.
One neighbor said, “It was like golfers were slamming golf balls through our windows. We were scared to death!”
The roof was leaking this morning — no holes in the roof, but plenty on lots of shingles. I have siding way up high and I counted more than 50 holes at least quarter-sized in diameter. About 12 were golf ball-sized and another 7 were baseball-sized.
Nearly every home in my historic neighborhood suffered the same fate. We all got out after the first wave and helped each other secure plastic over the exposed areas, then went back into our respective hidey holes and waited out several tornado warnings, high winds, and driving rain.
Inside City of Fort Smith boundaries, emergency officials estimate the damage covers a 20 mile radius.
Thankfully, no injuries had been reported as of about 10am.
We’ve been out boarding up windows all day and sweeping up glass from floors. It’ll be many, many years before I dig in my flower beds without stout gloves. Glass is EVERYWHERE.
Weather forecast calls for sunshine the next 7 to 10 days. We’re gonna need as many days of calm as we can get, what with only a few glass professionals in town…