IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Neighbors in one southeastern Iredell County town spent Sunday cleaning up tattered leaves and shredded flowers after an overnight hail storm that made their neighborhood look like a winter wonderland.
It wasn’t snow, but looked like it, according to Chris McBride. He scooped up a handful of hail pellets from a pile more than three inches deep.
“You can see all the little pieces of hail,” he said about the ice chunks in his hands. “That's all hail.”
Then he motioned to the yard. “It was just covered white -- all the fields, everything was covered -- all around the yard, everywhere,” he said.
Just down the street, Lizzie Wagner described looking out her back door around 3 a.m.
“I've never seen anything like it in my life,” said the elderly woman. “The ground was completely covered. You couldn’t see any grass or anything!”
Kristin Klatt said the thunder and lightning shook her awake in the apartment she lives in over her barn.
She looked for a break in the storm so she could bring her horses in, but didn’t get one before the metal awning on two sides of the barn collapsed.
“I thought it was a tornado,” Klatt said. “I thought it was my last few seconds, and it was just a ‘thunk’ and the massive sound of destruction.”
It turns out the horses were better off for the delay. “This is where we would have been at that exact time, if I had let them in,” she said, pointing to the fallen metal and splintered frame.
She’s grateful her two sons were staying at another home Saturday night, and all of her animals have been found and are OK. The Iredell Sheriff’s Office said they also heard no reports of injuries or serious damage.
But the freak storm left McBride wondering. “Crazy!” he said. “I don't understand the weather this year.”
And it left Wagner hoping. “I have seen hail storms, but nothing like this,” she exclaimed. “And I hope I never do again!”