Then the hail started. We looked out the window and watched a lady run to her car and drive it under the only shelter around: the drive through of the check in window.
|An out of focus shot at 8:41 of the start|
|8:43. Other cars start to move|
I went out into the pouring rain and this is what I found:
|My windshield destroyed|
I got on the phone and called my insurance company and registered the claim. While I was on the phone, another supercell showed up on the radar. The NWS updated their warning and said another hail storm was going to hit within 10 min. I leapt into my car and drove into Mitchell, hoping to find some kind of parkade for protections. No such luck. But the place was a mess of downed branches, leaves and building parts. Lots of vehicles had been hit. By the time the next storm cell arrived, all I could find was a church parking lot partially protected with trees. I was lucky that the hail was small and inconsequential.
Back to the hotel, I started to try and find a way to get my windshield replaced in Mitchell. No can do, at least not on a Saturday AM. So I started going further afield, and found both a windshield and guy to replace it about an hour down the road at Sioux Falls.
Around then, the NWS stormtracker dudes noted that Chamberlain, SD had been hit with grapefruit sized hail overnight. We stopped in Chamberlain yesterday for a break. They also mentioned the storms were moving east at 45 mph. Sioux Falls is east. The radar said we would drive back into the edges of them.
So we headed slowly to Sioux Falls, driving with this view:
|Good job it wasn't sunny|
|Out with the shattered one|
|Dents in the hood|
We tuned into the Weather Channel again last night. The stormtracker dudes were sitting just behind a supercell that had blown over a semi-trailer, had funnel clouds forming under it, and were dumping golfball sized hail on things. The storms location? Salem, SD, halfway between Mitchell and Sioux Falls. We watched for an hour as they compared that storm with the "storm of the century" that pounded Mitchell the previous day -- the one that hit us. They were surprised that ours didn't have a tornado in it.
My car now hates me, I think. It has been a great vehicle for the last 8 years, and now it got beat up for no reason. Sorry, poor thing.