Lonely Planet Writer

Watch golf ball-sized hail stones pummelling the roads and streets in South Dakota

Incredible video footage has captured the moment the heavens opened to rain enormous hail stones down on to the unsuspecting residents of a small American town. Taken by 48-year-old IT worker Steve Hahm on his front porch in South Dakota, the video
shows a torrent of golf ball-sized hail stones pummelling the roads and streets in Watertown.

Enormous hail stones down on to the unsuspecting residents of a small American town.
Enormous hail stones down on to the unsuspecting residents of a small American town. Image by mediadrumworld.com

The freak weather, which lasted for over half-an-hour in its entirety, saw huge splashes as the chunks of ice fell into a stream of water running down the road, with several stones narrowly missing Mr Hahm as he took the video. The thud of hailstones hitting passing cars can also clearly be heard in the video, with many cars likely to have sustained dents to their bodywork.

Steve Hahm took the images from his front porch in South Dakota.
Steve Hahm took the images from his front porch in South Dakota. Image by mediadrumworld.com

“Golf ball-sized hailstones can be seen in this video but there were many reports in the area of baseball-sized stones,” said Mr Hahm. “Our work truck and personal car both sustained pretty serious damage. The truck sustained a cracked windscreen, broken brake light, broken bug deflector, and somewhere between 75 to 100 small dents. The car received the same number of dents. The metal roof on our house received more dents than can be counted.

“My next-door neighbour lost most of the windows on the north side of her house, and my insurance agent has told me that she personally took over 100 claims. Many of the older cars (eight years or more) will be totalled as the cost of repairing all the dents is more than the value of the vehicle.”

A torrent of golf ball-sized hail stones pummelling the roads and streets in Watertown.
A torrent of golf ball-sized hail stones pummelling the roads and streets in Watertown. Image by mediadrumworld.com

Hail forms when large amounts of cloud water combine with sub-zero temperatures and strong upwards air motion. The cold temperatures partially freeze the water while the upwards air takes the forming hail back up into the cloud, where more water freezes around it. And Mr Hahm says that, if you find yourself outside in similar weather, his advice would be to get to cover immediately.
“If you see hail of this size stay under shelter,” he said. “Don’t be a hero and run out to try and move your car into the garage or shed. If you were to take one of these stones to the head you could be seriously injured.”

By Tom Dare/mediadrumworld.com