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Old 07-29-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
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1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Angry Hail of a Rally Story

Northern Illinois Unit Rally at Keiler, Wisconsin, July 24Th, 2009, about 6:45 PM, Golf Ball size hail driven by 100 mi/hr. straight line winds (as reported from Doppler radar) assaulted the 11 trailers and tow vehicles which came to the Rally. Three couples had their trucks windows shattered and another had the car sunroof explode. A vintage '63 trailer lost two plain glass side windows. Miraculously, no newer model trailers, with tempered glass windows, broke. However, skylights in many trailers were cracked or destroyed. “Kielers”, too numerous to count, appeared on all the trailers. (”Kielers” are similar to “Bismarcks” but are larger, measuring up to 9 inches in diameter and up to 1.2 inches deep.) Tree limbs fell on other trailers. Of course, the power went out. Many people retreated to the barn basement. The skylight in the barn shattered and it rained in. I stood under the metal clad front porch of the barn holding the door shut, while watching it all unfold. One member ran to his trailer as it started, to close his vent and got trapped in the trailer as the hail battered it. The noise of the large hailstones breaking glass in the cars and trying to get through the metal roof was unreal. At the time, we were holding happy hour inside the barn after returning from a 50 mile long road rally scavenger hunt (sans trailers) and waiting for the rain to clear before starting our outdoor cook out. Needless to say, plans changed. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

After it settled down a bit, we ventured out to survey the damage. It was extensive. This was a new experience for most and one we hope to never repeat. Plastic sheeting, cardboard and massive amounts of duct tape came to the rescue the next morning as people readied their rigs for their trip to the next destination. Pictures at the website.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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Wow- I am so glad no one was hurt. I get a stomach ache every time it starts to storm.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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There is another write up with pictures on the Northern Illinois August Newsletter posted at
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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Thank God there were no injuries.. but the damage to the airstreams hurts too...


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Old 07-30-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Yoweeee! What an awful experience that must have been! So glad no one was hurt, so sorry about the damage to the vehicles. More stories to share around the campfire.
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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I truly feel for all of you and thankful that no one had injuries to themselves. I, too dread the hail. The weather has been so unreal this summer. We are having hail here in Colorado very late into the summer (last one just this past Monday with great damage by tangerine size). Today we are experiencing temps in the 50s and 60s on eastern range, with reports of rain mixing w/snow up at some of the higher elevations!?! And 100+ in Oregon and Washington state!!

I remember when we first moved here to Colorado, we had one of those wind driven hail storms. The golfball size hail came right thru our livingroom windows, bouncing all over the floor, yikes!! Only good part was getting a new roof, as ours was on its last legs. Have to look for that silver lining among those clouds, don't ya know.
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

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Old 07-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #7
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We were overnighting in Lasalle Il that night. We were coming from Door County Wi, and saw the dark clouds behind us. It finally hit us around dark. They were predicting high winds and hail for us. Thankfully other than heavy rain and some wind, the hail failed to materialize in the area of our campground.

Sorry to hear what happend to you. We were sitting on pins and needles....

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Old 07-30-2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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That's one Hell of Hail Story. Sorry to hear about everyone's losses, but glad to hear nobody was hurt. That's what's really important.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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You never know what one of these storms can bring. Just glad we don't get much hail along with the high winds and rain in Florida.

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