'All hail broke loose': Softball-size hail destroys property in Carolinas during weekend hailstorm

'All hail broke loose': Softball-size hail destroys property in Carolinas during weekend hailstorm

Severe Thunderstorms and Hailstorm Hit Carolinas

Severe Thunderstorms and Hailstorm Hit Carolinas

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Severe thunderstorms brought a massive hailstorm to the Carolinas on Saturday, blasting out windows, tearing down fences and leaving yards covered in enough ice to create the appearance of a fresh blanket of snow.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was in effect for Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Tega Cay in South Carolina on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. ET. The warning included the potential for winds of up to 70 mph and huge hail.

Warnings were also in effect for central North Carolina through Saturday night into early Sunday morning. During the severe thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday, the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, received hail reports ranging from quarter to golf ball size.

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Teams with the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, conducted surveys on Monday in Rock Hill and York to assess the damage from Saturday’s severe thunderstorms.

While some residents believed a tornado caused downed trees and pulled down powerlines, the NWS survey team did not find tornado damage but extensive damage due to the combination of winds between 70 and 90 mph and baseball-size hail.

"The combination of high winds and very large hail resulted in wind-driven hail that further exacerbated damage to structures, vehicles and trees," according to the survey summary.

The survey team also said a few minor injuries were reported from the storm. Hailstorm creates rivers of ice, covers ground with hailstones Damage reports from York County, South Carolina, quickly began pouring into the NWS on Saturday as the storm blasted through the region.

Parts of Rock Hill received hail up to 4 inches in diameter – about the size of a softball. It was the largest hail reported in South Carolina in 13 years. The hailstorm left yards and properties covered in hailstones, making it look like snow.

Video recorded in Rock Hill by Chris Mazza showed the deluge of hail knocking down their backyard fence and winds causing their door to blow open. Mazza said his family was getting ready to celebrate his mom’s birthday when the storm blew in. In front of the home, the rain and hail created a river of ice water running down the street, where vehicles could be seen with damaged windshields and covered in dents.

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