Fierce hail storms batter Texas, Oklahoma: ‘Billion-dollar’ damage likely from ‘gargantuan’ hail
Residents in Texas and Oklahoma were recovering Thursday after hail as large as softballs battered portions of the states a day earlier, leaving behind shattered windows on cars and in homes.
In Oklahoma, at least one injury was reported when large hail hit Norman and surrounding areas Wednesday evening, officials said. A National Weather Service spotter reported hail in excess of 3 inches in diameter around 9 p.m. in the Norman area.
A wind gust of 69 mph was measured in the area at 9 p.m. as the storm pushed through.
In all there were 38 reports of severe hail across the two states, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
“Yesterday was certainly a billion-dollar hail loss day across the U.S.,” Northern Illinois University meteorologist Victor Gensini said. “San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas – along with Norman – were all impacted with large to significant hail. In addition, there was one gargantuan (4 inch) hail report near Hondo, Texas.”
CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said that it would be the second billion-dollar disaster this year in Texas, following the extreme Arctic outbreak back in February.
Hail makes up the highest number of insurance claims each year and can exceed $10 billion in losses annually, according to the Weather Channel.
The storms were part of a sprawling system that brought severe weather and heavy rain to much of the southern and central Plains. In addition to large hail, storms also produced damaging winds and a few possible tornadoes, CNN said.
Contributing: The Oklahoman