The Chainlink

Golf-ball sized hail and a huge amount of water at the same time, lasting ~15 minutes.

It was pretty much deafening, and then it got louder.

I have no idea what it's going to look like when things die down.  I'd imagine that anyone with plants outside has some work ahead of them, at the least.  No concept of what it must have been like to be caught on a bike in this . . .

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My tomato plants toughed it out admirably, lost the top of one of the eight, but the other seven seemed mainly unscathed this morning- even the few first blossoms on them were intact. I got lucky!

Total devastation in my garden, gonna take weeks of work to try to put things back together.

Absolutely nothing left of about 10 tomato plants, 6 cucumbers-- just a few shredded stems.

It looks like someone went crazy with a weed whacker.

Some of the peppers might make it although it's going to take a while to find out which.

The rest of the property is a solid sheet of leaves and branches. Couldn't touch it or get a pic as I was heading out of town and it was dark . . . sucks about the torn screens-- I won't be able to check for that until Sunday.

 

I can tell you what it felt like to be out on a bike in that.  It hurt like hell.  I'd gone to a neighborhood music venue earlier, when there was no rain in the forecast.  About 9:00, the lights went out.  I could see torrential rain through the front door.  The band played a while longer by emergency lighting and candles - unplugged, of course.  At 9:30, the emergency lighting was fading and the rain had stopped.  I unlocked the bike quickly and started to ride for home (1.5 miles away).  There were a few drops of rain, but it wasn't heavy - yet.

I'd gone half a mile and was up on the ridge by the time the rain really cut loose.  A block later, the hail started.  First I heard it start to hammer on the gutters and rooftops.  Then it started hitting my helmet and the rest of me.  Owwww!!!!!  Non-stop stinging all over.  It was pea-sized then and quickly increased to grape-sized, stinging more.  I'd worked up a good sweat earlier and the rain was washing that dried sweat into my eyes.  It was hard to see between the stinging from sweat, heaviness of the rain, leaves pelting down and hail.  All the big trees offered a little bit of protection from the hail, but I didn't exactly want to stand around under one, because I've seen too many taken down by high winds lately.  Short of ringing a stranger's doorbell and asking to come in, there was nowhere good to take shelter.

I was grateful that there was hardly any traffic.  Once the hail and blinding rain started, I saw only 3 cars that were moving or appeared to be occupied.  I just kept moving.  When I was a block from home, a car stopped and let me pass through the intersection - and she didn't have a stop sign.  I rolled up onto the sidewalk and stopped by our gate.  She pulled up and rolled down her window, asking if I needed a ride.  I thanked her for stopping, but said that I was home. That was the longest mile I've ever ridden.

I waded through the mud in our still-under-construction back yard and was relieved to get inside.  At that point, the hail was almost the size of golf balls.  Looks like the only casualty of the trip might be my helmet-mounted blinkie headlight.  My cell phone survived - just enough protection from my handlebar bag.  All things considered, I feel pretty lucky.

Our poor sycamore tree had lots of small leaves stripped off - 2nd round of leaves on some branches after earlier stress from weather extremes.  In the veggie bed, the oregano had no damage.  Tomatoes had some damage, but they look like they'll live.  Pole beans had a lot of shredded leaves.  Bush beans were fine.  I had some tiny seedlings just starting - no idea if they'll survive.  This was my 3rd try on some species, after earlier seedlings were wiped out by the relentless rain in May and early June.  Unless I find some good replacement plants this weekend, I'm just giving up on whatever species got killed off by this storm.

We had a moderate number of leaves and small branches down.  I took a short ride around the neighborhood.  Where there were a lot of honey locust trees, the streets are literally carpeted with leaves.  Any really catastrophic tree damage was mostly to large maple trees.

Gad you survived in one piece.  Sycamores have the ability to throw out new leaves as needed through the growing season very quickly, FWIW.
We've seen this sycamore go through similar stress in the last few years and bounce back nicely.  It's still sad to see so many leaves torn off a tree in one day.  There are a lot of sycamores within a mile of us, and I've watched the same cycle with them.
Extreme weather. Stupid humans keep polluting the environment. End is near. YAY! :P

Garfield Park Conservatory lost 1/2 its glass, reportedly:

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/jul01-garfield-park-con...

 

Before that a sand storm on North ave. beach and with the counter clockwise winds I bet there was  something "tornado like" as the storm formed and came straight off Lake Michigan.

 

I've been in high winds in the city before but usually it wind tunnels down the street between buildings this was out of the high rise areas.

I got a description from someone who was in River North last night that sounded like a small tornado.

Mike Zumwalt said:

Before that a sand storm on North ave. beach and with the counter clockwise winds I bet there was  something "tornado like" as the storm formed and came straight off Lake Michigan.

 

I've been in high winds in the city before but usually it wind tunnels down the street between buildings this was out of the high rise areas.

A story on WBEZ makes it sound even worse than other news stories I heard this morning.  A channel 7 news story tonight said that there is insurance, but it won't cover everything.  The conservatory will probably need a lot of help to rebuild.

Last night's storm was yet another reason for me to really REALLY appreciate my helmet.

H3N3 said:

Garfield Park Conservatory lost 1/2 its glass, reportedly:

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/jul01-garfield-park-con...

 

 

For all who were out in the hail - might not be a bad idea to inspect your helmet to make sure there are no cracks in it and its still viable.  Just a thought.  Glad everybody made it home ok.

A strange aftermath today.

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