Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Hail slams city

March 16, 2006

When Peggy Newport was woken from her Sunday afternoon nap she thought it might actually be raining cats and dogs.

Instead, the cause of intermediate thumping was fist-sized hailstones slamming into the roof of the home of her parents, Carole and Tip Newport, on West 81st Street.

Although spared the microbursts and tornadoes that struck elsewhere in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, De Soto didn't entirely escape the outbreak of violent weather. As far too many people in De Soto know, a storm dropped tennis- to softball-sized hailstones on the city Sunday afternoon.

De Soto American Family Insurance agent Debbie Miller said she was deluged with calls Monday and Tuesday. Three-quarters of those calls were from those reporting broken car windows or dents to cars, she said.

"It seems if cars weren't in a garage, there was hail damage," she said. "This is probably one of the more widespread claims we've had in a long time."

The hailstorm moved through De Soto from about 1:15 to 1:30 p.m. The intensity of the storm impressed Newport.

"I've been through hail storms before, but this was louder and more violent," she said.

"Thank God it was only my car. I can't imagine if was a kid out playing or a pet outside."

The hailstones missed her sunroof and didn't smash out any windows, but Newport said she did have five large dents in her car. Her brothers Hank and Steve weren't so lucky; both had windows broken out of their cars.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said he received a two-page report on storm-related damages to city property. Twelve city vehicles suffered broken windows or dents from the hail, he said.

In addition, utility polls were knocked over that supplied power to one of De Soto's water wells. Repairs were completed and the well is operating, Guilfoyle said.

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