Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Day All Hail Broke Loose

After a fantastically relaxing weekend in Columbia, Andy and I mounted good ole’ I-77 for our trip home to Charlotte. We had driven separately so with Andy in the lead in his car we settled in for the usually very easy drive north. About 30 miles out, after being an incredibly sunny day, heavy black clouds rolled in and rain started to fall. No big deal. It’s the summer and random pop up storms happen all the time. All of a sudden I see Andy swerve to the shoulder, so I swerve to. While dialing his number to find out what the heck happen, I heard the first stone fall. That’s right, it started to hail. Again, this is not unheard of, nor is it a big deal. You just hang out for a bit and then you are on your way.

Well it turned into a big deal when the hail stones falling became the size of golf balls and larger. Andy said he watched a hail stone shatter the back windshield of the car in front of him. Umm okay, that’s not so normal.

Two hail stones hit the lower right side of my front windshield and cracks it in two places. At about the same time I look up to see a hole in Andy’s back windshield. I call him up again to see if I’m imagining it. Nope, a hail stone had shot through his windshield like a bullet and bounced off the front dashboard and landed in the passage seat. It shattered the back window, however the tint he added back in high school was holding most of the glass up. Umm..awesome….not.

When the hail finally subsided we decided to see if we could get home. We passed tons of people with multiple windows broken out and huge dents all over their cars.

About 40 miles outside of Charlotte I started to notice Andy’s back windshield started to crumble.

So we pulled off to a truck stop, Andy brought a pair of gloves, and went to work peeling off sections of the window. It was the craziest thing. There was glass everywhere in the backseat. We spent what felt like a small fortune in the shop vacuum swiping up all the glass and trying to make it as save as possible to drive.

Poor guy rode the rest of the way home without a back windshield. Of course after the crazy storm it went back to be hotter than Hades and he couldn't have the air conditioning on.

Just to add to the really fun day of driving we had to run to Lowes for a tarp and duck tape because it decide to rain for 15 minutes once we got home.

I am happy to report we are both safe and we both have brand new windshields on our cars. P.S. My car is still insured in South Carolina and they replace windshields for free! Yay for a break. Both are cars look like the parked on the wrong end of a driving range but that is all cosmetic.
I wasn’t particularly scared during this ordeal, however the more I thought about it, the more I got freaked out. If I had been riding with Andy I would have been covered in glass when the hail stone went through the windshield because it all sprayed on the passage seat. We are lucky neither of our front windshields shattered on top of us. So here are some quick tips to keep in mind in if you get stuck in a hailstorm:
  • Don’t drive through it. Pull off to the shoulder and under trees or an overpass if at all possible.
  • It’s better for the front windshield to be hit because it is reinforce. Your side windows and back windshield is not, which explains why we saw so many shattered back windshields.
  • Don’t get out of the vehicle. Hail falls that crazy fast speeds and you can really get hurt it you get hit.
  • If possible get on the floor and cover yourself or at least your face with a blanket or some clothing.
We are in for some crazy weather this summer (100 degrees this weekend, then 76 degrees on Tuesday) so make sure you are prepared.


  1. Wow, that was some hailstorm! Glad you're okay. I feel bad for the windshield, though. Those are all great tips. It's best to keep those always in mind, especially since hailstorms occur suddenly, so there's a chance a driver would tend to panic and try to drive through it as fast as possible.

    Joellen Cirilo @


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