Severe storms strike SE Minn., drop extreme hail - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Severe storms strike SE Minn., drop extreme hail

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LAKE CITY, Minn.  (KTTC) -- Wednesday night's severe weather blasted southeast Minnesota with strong winds and heavy rain, but it's the hail that's causing big problems.  Golf ball size hail hit parts of Wabasha and Goodhue counties hard, but the size wasn't the only problem, It's how much of it that fell.

Normally when you are stuck in the hail core of a thunderstorm, hail will last a few minutes. Everyone we spoke with around the Lake City area say the persistent large hail lasted at least 20 minutes and because it lasted so long and the storms were so intense, the hail piled up like snow.

"That's unbelievable, I've never seen anything like it that big," said Dean Kline.

Some of this hail that fell Wednesday night approached ping pong size, and in some cases even close to golf ball size hail. In some places it looked like snow about four or five inches deep.  This large hail blanketed streets, yards, and fields like it was fresh snow.  And it was treated as if it were. Plows were clearing the streets to free them from the vast mounds of hail that in spots could be measured in feet.

"It was three feet deep in some places out on the road here and four wheel drive pick ups were getting stuck out in the road and when we seen what was going on, another driver came by and helped pull that vehicle out and then we own a dairy farm here so I thought well people couldn't get through the road, I got a skid loader and started pushing the hailstones off the road," said Kline.

"I couldn't believe what was going on. We were in the house and it was banging on the roof and on the siding. Never seen anything like this before," said another neighbor John Moyer.

After the short term effects of this massive hailstorm are dealt with, there will be long term effects for many.

"We raise a lot of alfalfa for our dairy farm and most of our alfalfa probably is gone because it all got hailed off," added Kline.

And now their is an anxious wait for first light to get a better sense of just how much damage was done.

"It will be interesting once daylight gets here to what's going on. We got cattle in the pasture, the fences are down, and we don't know if there's cows grounded or not. We won't know that til daylight. There won't be much sleep tonight," said Moyer.

 

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