OTIS, Colo. (CBS4) – As the National Weather Service investigates potential record breaking hail from storms over the last 24 hours, one town on Colorado’s Eastern Plains is certain it’s close.
“There’s one spot where I think that we had some record breaking hail but it was warm, so by the time somebody was on their feet to save it … ” said Otis resident Jerry Patterson, who was at the demolition derby in Sterling when the storm hit Monday afternoon.
When he arrived home from the derby, his car looked like it had been in it.
“I just want to point out this, this size mark right here, just incredible. Boom! You can see how that’s dented in there,” he said.
Patterson pointed to a spot on his car where it appeared baseball sized hail had struck. He was certain there was record breaking hail somewhere in Otis but knows hail is not an easy thing to measure in the summer heat.
Patterson happens to be the owner and operator of the Otis Tribune. As the local journalist, he had connections and led CBS4 to someone who knew better, just how large the hail in Otis was.
“I’ve lived in this town my whole life and I’ve never seen hail this big!” said Shiree Hull.
The Hull family not only captured the action on their doorbell camera but saved about a dozen chunks that were hurled from the sky on Monday.
The Hulls laid out their collection, the biggest one measured around 3 inches. According to the Colorado Climate Center in Fort Collins, the state record for hail in Colorado is 4.5 inches in diameter.
“It’s not a record but it’s big! I know that,” said Patterson from the Hull family kitchen.
Shiree was about a mile from home when the hail hit, in her new car.
“At first it’s like ting ting and then nothing, and then all of a sudden it just started bouncing everywhere.”
The Hulls haven’t had an adjustor come to inspect the damage to their home but other neighbors, including the Pattersons, say their roofs will have to be replaced.
While it’s the biggest hail most have seen in Otis, it’s not the worst damage — and Patterson has a great perspective.
“I’d rather it happen here in town, honestly, rather than our crops, because the crops are looking good out here this year!”