This past Friday, the 20th of May, the folks in Mills County, I was in San Saba and just missed it, had a great hail storm! During the past 3 weeks, hopefully, our serious drought has finally broken, we’ve had over 3.6 inches of rain and yesterday’s was the hardest! Bad thing though, far west Texas, which is still under, according to NOAA a severe drought, hasn’t gotten any significant rain.
Crossing the Colorado River and coming into Mills County I noticed the oak trees had neat piles of leaves under their boughs, I thought Oh-oh, sure looks like hail to me. Driving on the 4 miles to my ranch, the last being almost 2 miles on a County Road, more leaves under the oak trees along with a scattering of good size, hail. The ground in my front and back yards were covered with quarter size hail and it had built up around my gutters too.
Walking around my house and checking for damage, none apparent, and walking out to the rain gauge, ½ inch and thinking, That’s over 3 inches this month. There being no garden this year, like the Bible says, I let it lay fallow this season, nothing was harmed, but remembering back to the hail storm we had on May 5, 2005, it was a doozy!
The constant lightning cast an eerie green glow as the storm hit from the northwest at midnight and waking us up, we went out to the front porch to watch as it closed in on us. Between Goldthwaite and my front porch, a tornado cloud came snaking down and Layla and I went streaking into safer quarters. This was one of several funnel clouds seen in the County, 2 touched down. We climbed under a mattress and lied down in our long hall and it started raining and hailing, and hailing and hailing, our metal roof was clanking with the large pieces of ice!
Finally it stopped hailing, but the rain was pouring down, over 5 inches in total and, because of the rain, we went to bed, but were up with the sun. We thought Bo, our cat, had been safe in the old house, Spike, our dog, was under the mattress with us, but on our inspection, the north facing windows had been knocked out with only jagged pieces remaining. Somehow, Bo had escaped through a window and found shelter somewhere safe.
Our cars, a new Suburban and a year old, Avalanche, left outside of course, were damaged the worst, totaling over $8,000. Then add in $1,200. for 2 new double pane, windows in the old house, plus an almost destroyed garden, gives an idea of the destruction. By far, wildlife was hit the hardest. Doves were nesting and had to start all over, the big hail killed turkeys while they were roosting, smaller birds not killed outright had eggs and nests destroyed, but ground dwellers like quail, could find cover and were spared.
Now, the big storm of 2005 is just a memory, but Friday’s hail could be the answer to a lot of prayers and could be the breaking of our, according to NOAA, severe drought!