Thursday, July 9, 2009

Winter, like guest uninvited, drops in

A hailstorm left three feet of ice and debris in Grace Martini’s basement in Yonkers, practically burying her washer and dryer.

The calendar says it is July — a natural time to break out the snow shovels and for children to reach for their sleds.


Well, in a season of meteorological extremes, perhaps it should not come as a great surprise to see several inches of hail accumulate in Yonkers on Tuesday night, creating scenes of winterlike wonder that residents were still dealing with on Wednesday.

Grace Martini, 89, found her basement in Yonkers buried under three feet of ice after Tuesday’s storm, which left about 21,000 customers without power. The hail had rolled down her steep, sloped driveway and into the garage and the basement, said Nancy Valedes, Mrs. Martini’s sister.

The Yonkers Fire Department was called in to help clear the hail, which ruined the washer and dryer and covered the furnace in ice, Ms. Valedes said.

“When I called the insurance company, they said they need some proof,” she said. “Well, I think they’re going to have plenty of proof. This is something you have to see to believe.”

(No, this wasn't a true wintry form of precipitation: sleet, same thing as ice pellets. It was hail, from persistent, unusually strong thunderstorms. Frankly, this could have happened anywhere, much more common on the High Plains than metro New York). The New York Times article is here.

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