Fort Worth in Dallas Hit Hard and Left Bruised

Last Thursday a storm pushed through Fort Worth in Dallas, Texas lashing out the area with hail, high winds (reported to be 75-90 MPH) and rain. The storm itself was quick, but left a lot of bruising in its wake particularly the Fort Worth Stockyards.

300,000 to 115,200

Outages after the storm left a total of 300,000 people without power. The number has gone down to 115,200 today, but the estimate time for complete renewal of electricity services is up in the air.

Fortunately, utility crews from Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Kansas City, Alabama and North Carolina have offered their help in alleviating this mess and getting the electricity back for the Fort Worth residents.

Not Quite a Tornado

fort worth damageThe oddest thing about the storm seems to be its brevity even though the storm produced wind “capable of the same level of damage as a small tornado.” Structures also found themselves being pelted with golf-ball sized hail and in the case of the Fort Worth Stockyards, several historical buildings were damaged beyond repair.

Although it’s caused quite a bit of heartache, Mark Hannah (a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas) stated that the losses incurred by this storm are not comparable to anything.

As if Detroit Didn’t Have Enough Problems Already

Statue of Orville Hubbard at Dearborn City Hall

On Monday, August 11th Detroit was hit with a record rainfall of 4.57 inches (recorded by the Detroit Metro Airport). This swelled through Detroit and ended up flooding almost half of the commercial businesses and homes in the Dearborn suburb.

And Now The Gorey Details

It was reported that Dearborn itself saw about 6 inches of rain. Their city hall was flooded and for a time 75% of their roads were impossible to get across.

Ferndale, a city in Michigan, saw 50% of its homes hit with flooding. Huntington Woods, also in Michigan, experienced rainfall-related damage to 75% of homes.

On top of this, municipal buildings saw a dramatic loss with structures in the city of Warren taking an estimated $1.2 billion in damages. Of course, this damage doe snot include the police department, district court, community center and multiple vehicles.

Help Is On The Way

Fortunately, despite Detroit’s on-going bouts with turmoil, the city council for Dearborn approved an allocation $1 million to help ease the aftermath of the heavy rainfalls and put some hope back into the hearts of its citizens.

Currently, however, the total damage done to Dearborn is still being assessed. This of course does not include the other suburbs and cities hit by the heavy rainfall a few weeks earlier.

Colorado: A Love/Hail Relationship

If you live in Colorado, you’re most likely familiar with the bi-polar nature of our weather, specifically storms and the subsequent hail and hail damage.

What The Hail?

Even though golf ball sized hail is not specific to Colorado, the process for it to get that big has a definite relation to the scope of our storms.

Hail begins its life as a super cooled drop of water, which is swirled about in the updraft of a storm. As it rotates through the clouds it gathers water, dust particles and whatever else can get sucked up in a thunderstorm (reportedly some states have seen hailstones with fish or frogs encased within). These elements freeze due to the water’s supercooled temperature and eventually form into a hail stone.

Now depending on how powerful the wind is these stones could go on rotating for quite a while gathering mass. Eventually they become too heavy and drop from the atmosphere to either create a nice, shallow dent on your brand new car, or damage the roof of your house.

We Can All Blame Colorado For This Hail Malarkey

Colorado happens to be one of the most hail prone states in the U.S. and though the majority of the hail occurs in the Rockies, we still feel the impact (literally!) here in the populated counties.

The strong winds from our local thunderstorms also add an extra edge to the hail, namely by increasing damage potential from added momentum.

The Physical and the Monetary

Not only does hail cause a lot of structural damage in Colorado, it is estimated that in 2009 hail was responsible for $767.6 million in monetary damages.

Oh, and here’s some more lovely statistics (Source: http://www.rmiia.org/catastrophes_and_statistics/Hail.asp):

DateLocationCost When Occurred
(Millions)
2013 Dollars
(Millions)
*
July 20, 2009Denver Metro$767.6$833.5
July 11, 1990Denver Metro$625.0$1.1 Billion
June 6-15, 2009Denver Metro$353.3$381.2
June 6-7, 2012CO Front Range$321.1$325.8
June 13-14, 1984Denver Metro$276.7$620.3
July 29, 2009Pueblo$232.8$252.7
October 1, 1994Denver Metro$225.0$353.6
May 22, 2008Windsor$193.5$209.3
July 13, 2011CO Front Range$164.8$170.6
June 8-9, 2004Denver Metro$146.5$180.6
August 11, 1997Denver Metro$128.0$185.7
May 22, 1996Denver Metro$122.0$181.1

*2013 estimated cost calculations based on the Consumer Price Index.