Hellacious Hailstorm Hits Los Alamos Pummeling Private Planes
By Carol A. Clark
Marble sized hail pounded the community today around 2:30 p.m., falling especially hard at Los Alamos County Airport causing damage to a number of private planes.
"I have never seen hail like that in my life and I'm not afraid to say that it was frightening," Airport Manager Peter Soderquist told the Los Alamos Daily Post this evening.
As soon as the hailstorm passed at about 2:45 p.m., Soderquist went outside to survey the damage to the private planes tethered around the airport at 1040 Airport Road.
"There were 17 planes outside when the hailstorm hit and 16 had dents ... some so severe that they will require reskinning," he said. "The one plane that wasn't damaged was made of composite materials."
Fortunately several other planes had taken off earlier in the day and were out of the area when the hailstorm struck, Soderquist said, adding that the local pilots whose planes were damaged will be calling their insurance adjusters. The cost from today's hail damage to the planes could run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"The hail was blowing sideways and a pilot whose plane was parked in a hangar said pieces of the fiber glass door broke off in the storm, flew clear across the hangar and hit the back wall," Soderquist said.
A hail drift nearly two feet high piled up at the door of a building on the south side of the airport, he said.
"My car was parked outside and was severely damaged in the hailstorm and I've already called my insurance adjuster," Soderquist said.