Friday, 16 November 2007

A mother-f**cking moer of a hailstorm!

Ye Gads, but the weather went beserk this evening - we had hailstones the size of small peaches, several broken and cracked windows, and many smashed roof tiles. My garden has been shredded, there is splintered glass and water all over the house, and the lawn is carpeted in white.

I'm not exaggerating about the size of the hail-stones. I have a plateful of them in the freezer, and will post a photograph of them tomorrow when my dearly beloved arrives home with his digital camera.

It was a perfect day in Johannesburg - ferociously hot, with a soaring blue sky and not a whisper of wind. At about 3.30 pm the clouds started to gather, within half an hour there was an angry knot of a storm hovering directly above our house. Half an hour later, the light faded suddenly, almost to full dark, and a strange yellow light fell through the windows. Seconds later the wind was howling and hopping around the house like a demented goblin. I looked out of the window to see a cloud in a nasty shade of dirty yellow-ochre boiling - and I mean BOILING - over the tops of the trees. The only time I've ever seen such dangerous-looking clouds is on those interminable Discovery Channel doccies about American tornadoes.

When the wind started to whine like a siren, I decided to go into emergency mode, and herded the kids (there were three of them in the house; my eight-year-old, her friend, and my 14-year-old son) into an internal passage where I thought they'd be safe. A minute later, there was a gun-shot sound as enormous hailstone punched through the roof tiles above our heads and bounced against a skylight window. Then came pop-tinkle sounds - the hailstones were so big that they were breaking panes of glass around the house. Within minutes, half the clear-plastic roof tiles in the house was smashed to smithereens.

This was the moment for some decisive panicking. I herded the kids into the Cupboard Under the Stairs - shades of Harry Potter here - and packed the quivering dogs in too. Once they were all settled, I draped a thick blanket around myself, grabbed my video camera from a drawer, and did a small household patrol to check out the damage.

Which is as follows:

2 smashed windows
5 cracked windows
About 12 shattered roof tiles
Garden destroyed
Nerves in tatters

Hell, is this global warming?

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1 comment:

meggie said...

Crikey! It sounds like it was very scary, & also, rather dangerous.
We get some pretty ferocious hail storms here too, & have had cricket ball sized hail stones, but not as much damage as you sustained.