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Front Page » September 3, 2002 » Local News » Hailstorm wreaks havoc in Helper area
Published 4,349 days ago

Hailstorm wreaks havoc in Helper area


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By RICHARD SHAW and KAREN BASSO
Staff reporters


A quick moving thunderstorm that passed over the cliffs surrounding Helper last Thursday threw blocks of ice as large as baseballs at homes, cars and people before vanishing into the distant horizon.

The active cell thunderstorm was one of many weather disturbance that crossed the state Thursday afternoon.

But the storm experienced in the Helper area was significantly different than the majority of the disturbances reported at locations within Utah.

Reports from the National Weather Service showed that the storm cell that crossed over the western Carbon County area at approxiamately noon on Aug. 29 was extremely intense and the action on the ground proved they were right.

In a period of only a few minutes, wide spread damage occurred as skylights on buildings and windshields on cars were smashed. Many in the area had damage to their homes, including shingles knocked off, outside light fixtures broken and metal siding and roofing dented.

A car dealership in Helper city reported that the paint on many of the vehicles parked on the lot was severely damaged by the storm.

The hail came down hard and heavy for only a few minutes and piled up a little in some places appearing as if a snow storm had hit the area as a blanket of white precipitation lie on the ground.

But by 1 p.m. last Turdsay, the hail had disappeared, melting on the warm pavement and ground.

Gardens in the western Carbon County area were also damaged heavily. Many people's flowers were completely stripped of petals and vegetables were pummeled with the hard rockets of ice as they cascaded from the heavens.

In addition, many local residents lost almost all their tomatoes, a commodity that was just reaching maturity in many owners gardens.

Several Helper residents have been forced to file insurance claims for property which was damaged during the storm. Satelite dishes were punctured as well as patio tables destroyed.

Power lines throughout the city display the force of the storm as wires remain bent.

After the storm many of the trees in the area where the hail was the worst had been damaged with the larger ones having lost multiple branches and leaves and some smaller ones broken completely off.

Reports and photos of the hailstorm came from several quarters in Carbon County. Much of the hail was peasized. But residents in some areas of the county reported hail as large as tennis balls. Many people took photographss, with the largest showing up as a little larger than a golf ball.

As of press time, no official estimates of total damage associated with the hailsorm were available. But most sources indicated that the costs could run into thousands of dollars.


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