Steamboat pelted with hail during Wednesday night storm
July 17, 2014
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs got a little dinged up Wednesday evening when an unusual hail storm passed over the area.
Local weather monitors reported receiving between .18 inches and .48 inches of rain during the storm. Hard rain, which rolled into the Steamboat area around 6 p.m., prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning.
Teresa Luber, a resident at Deer Mountain Estates off Elk River Road, reported a 15-minute hail storm that produced about an inch of cherry-tomato-sized hail.
State Farm insurance agent Debbie Aragon said her office fielded calls from about 10 people whose cars had hail damage on the roofs and hoods.
"It seems to be people more on the west side of town," she said.
Aragon said a customer also called about damaged asphalt shingles.
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Aragon and Cook Chevrolet and Subaru general manager Steve Dunklin said hail damage is unusual in the Steamboat area.
"It's so rare, but down in Denver it happens all the time," Dunklin said.
About five cars on his lot had light hail damage, Dunklin said, with the most serious being a Toyota that had a golfball-sized dent on the back of the tailgate.
"I was, quite frankly, expecting worse," Dunklin said.
Dunklin said they notified their insurance company, but the amount of damage was not significant enough to cover the deductible. Most of the damage should be easily repairable, Dunklin added.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Sgt. Scott Middleton said the storm brought minor flooding in the city and a lot of false alarms. He said a tree fell down at Seventh and Oak streets, but there were no reports of any major damage.
Local weather observer Art Judson measured .42 inches of rain at his home between downtown and the mountain. That brings total July precipitation to 1.2 inches. On average over the past 30 years, Steamboat sees 1.52 inches of rain in July.
Local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth said Thursday that the threat of afternoon storms returns Friday and continues into the weekend as a ridge builds over the area drawing moisture from the south.