Oh Hail No!

It was just one weekend ago that hubby and I were relaxing on our back patio, sipping on cocktails in front of the fire pit, and admiring how nice our yard had come along since we had begun planting trees and flowers last summer.

firepit trellis dachshund

I was also thinking that it was high time I wrote a blog post about how we DIY’d our backyard landscaping.

In the meantime though (i.e., one literal day later), this happened:

midtown hail 1

No, that’s not typical Colorado spring snow; it’s hail! A savage hail storm hit all of Denver and its suburbs, with one of the hardest hit neighborhoods being Midtown. Waa waaa!

Hubby and I were at work that Monday when the storm rolled in around three o’clock. I don’t have a window office at work, but happened to get up for water and noticed that the office seemed surprisingly dark on one side. I looked out the window to discover that this creepy black storm was on its way from the west.

denver hail storm

I love a good storm, so I snapped some pics and merrily sat back at my desk…until a single minute later when I simultaneously heard a single thump on the roof above me and received a text message from a friend across downtown that said they were receiving hail.

Hail? What hail? I ran to the window again to discover there was indeed hail and it was coming down like mad.

It just so happened that hubby and I had drove to work that day, which we don’t do often, so my first thought was that the vehicle — parked more than a half-mile away in free street parking — was probably getting wrecked by the hail storm.

After contemplating whether it was worth it to try to rescue the vehicle and bring it into the garage below our building, I finally made a split second decision to run and get it, just in case the hail got worse. After running through 1-foot deep icy water flowing down the streets, I finally reached the vehicle, only to discover that we still had the roof rack storage box on top of the vehicle from our weekend camping trip and the vehicle was likely not going to fit in the parking garage anyway. Du-oh!

Thankfully, even though the hail came down strong and fast, the pieces were neither big nor hard, so there was no damage done to our vehicle.

About a half hour later and back in a change of dry clothes at my desk, I settled down to get some work done in the last hour of the day when an alert went off on my phone from the security cameras at our home. I had been so frazzled with the vehicle and mesmerized by the crazy storm that I hadn’t even considered the fact that the storm had probably gone through our neighborhood already.

I glanced at the camera footage and I could swear I was looking at snow in our yard, not hail! I still hadn’t thought much about how powerful the storm had been when it hit our neighborhood, since the hail storm that hit downtown was bad, but not too bad.

A short while later when I finished my work project, I decided to check out the neighborhood Facebook page, since surely the neighbors would be talking about this crazy storm.

Indeed they were!

One of the first posts I came across was broken windows for homes with windows facing a certain direction. Yikes! Even with that fair warning, it still took me a bit to realize that we were possibly one of those homes that could have broken windows, since the main part of our house faced the direction that got hit the worst.

I immediately texted hubby and told him we needed to get home ASAP, since we could have broken windows and it was still raining. Of course, getting home “immediately” in afternoon rush hour traffic downtown after a storm meant getting home 25-agonizing-minutes later, wondering the entire time what we were going to come home to. I couldn’t even bare to look at the other homes as we drove into the neighborhood.

I must admit that it was a bit disheartening to drive up and indeed see that we had a few broken windows to our precious home, but after seeing the full extent of the damage to our home and hearing about the damage that other neighbors received, I realized that we definitely got off easy.

We had a total of three broken windows (luckily just the first window pane), four torn window screens, dented siding, a chipped patio screen door, chipped fence paint, torn patio furniture covers, and broken bistro lights. Whether the roof needed replacing or not was TBD (we later found out, it did).

The most disheartening damage of all was that to our yard and landscaping, something that couldn’t be easily repaired or replaced. The trees that we had just been admiring the day prior for their fullness were now stripped almost bare. Brand new peonies that we had just planted in the fall and went out of our way to protect during a recent April snow storm were now completely destroyed. There was more green covering the ground from fallen leaves than green on the trees and plants themselves.

Luckily we didn’t get any leaks inside the house, which would have been far worse than any of the damage we received outside the house, so we were grateful for that, but I was still no less grumpy when we had to cancel our weekend plans to go camping and instead pick up broken glass on the patio and clean up fallen leaves out of our mulch and rock landscaping.

In the end, I was very glad that 1) even though we were one of the hardest hit houses in our neighborhood (due to the way our home faces), our damage really wasn’t that bad and 2) I wasn’t home; lesser hail storms have come through our neighborhood and with the number of windows on our house, it feels like our house is made of glass and is cracking at every piece of hail hitting the windows; it’s not a fun thing to sit through or listen to! Hopefully this is a once-in-30-years kind of hail storm!


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