First Alert Storm Week - A look back at a historic Blair hail storm

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - June 3rd, 2014 is a day people in Blair, NE won’t soon forget. A storm with baseball size hail pummeled the town in the late afternoon and evening.

Hail damage to Mandy Grabbe's House
Hail damage to Mandy Grabbe's House(Mandy Grabbe's House)

June 3rd began like any other summer day, and as people in Nebraska know, summer days can sometimes bring summer storms.

“It’s not unusual for us to be watching the weather,” said Jason Pittack of Woodhouse.

As his story goes, and skies darkened, it didn’t take long to realize the storm on the horizon was anything but ordinary.

“That day. What happened in the late afternoon was not typical,” he said.

As the storm moved in, Jason did what anyone would do these days. He took out of his phone and started recording the quarter size hail that was just beginning to fall. That changed quickly, though.

“It feels like you’re getting hit by cannonballs,” he said.

90 mph winds and baseball size hail would shatter nearly every window at the dealership.

“It was chaotic. Everywhere,” he recalled.

Through shattered glass, drivers began pulling into the dealership seeking shelter. “Bloody heads. We were taking them in and bringing them to urgent care afterwards. It was very eerie. Everything just looked like Swiss cheese when it was all said and done.”

Nearby, Mandy Grabbe, a Blair Teacher, and her family are already in their basement, but the sounds coming from above is something she says she’ll never forget.

“Just picture someone repeatedly throwing a softball against your house. It was so loud. You could hear the glass everywhere,” she said.

In fact, the storm was so loud, she started to wonder if hail was the least of her worries.

“I didn’t know if the house was going to be there. I just knew there was something going on when water started to drip on us from above,” she said.

The damage was incredible. Windows shattered, dents in appliances, and paint chipped off of exteriors walls.

Luckily, both Pittack and Grabbe were both safe and not hurt during this storm.

Stories like this is why our meteorologists tell people to always seek shelter from severe storms by getting away from windows and getting into an interior room

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