DENVER (CBS4) – If you were anywhere along Colorado’s Front Range on July 11, 1990, chances are you remember that day well.

A severe thunderstorm developed just southeast of Estes Park and dropped a swath of hail from there to Colorado Springs.

At times the hail core was up to 10 miles wide.

July 1990 hail storm damage (credit: CBS)

July 1990 hail storm damage (credit: CBS)

At the time it was dubbed as the worst hailstorm in American history in terms of cost with just over 600 million dollars in damage.

Hail as large as baseballs destroyed just about everything in the storm’s path and even caused harm to people.

47 were injured at Elitch Gardens Amusement Park after golf ball sized hail and heavy rain stranded many on rides when the power failed.

July 1990 hail storm damage (credit: CBS)

July 1990 hail storm damage (credit: CBS)

The storm spawned two brief tornadoes in the Denver area. One touched down in Lakewood near 6th & Kipling but caused no damage.

The second hit Castle Rock and caused heavy damage to some homes and vehicles in the Founders Village development near Ridge Road.

It’s difficult to list the hardest hit areas because the storm had such a wide reach, but some of the most concentrated damage was found in the following locations…

  • southeast Boulder County
  • the Jefferson County Airport – several aircraft were damaged
  • Arvada – some homes had holes punched through the roofs
  • east Wheat Ridge
  • southwest and south-central Westminster
  • west Thornton
  • northwest, west-central and downtown Denver
  • northeast and east-central Lakewood
  • portions of Arapahoe County west of I-25
  • the Jefferson County Airport
  • northern and central Douglas County, including Castle Rock and Franktown
  • Thousands of homes and tens of thousands of automobiles were battered by the large amounts of ice falling from the sky.

    Infrastructure such as traffic signals, street signs and street lights were damaged or destroyed.

    Paint was stripped off homes and buildings, most awnings were destroyed and even the trim was ripped away from many structures.

    Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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