2018-07-12 / Headlines

Hail damages 500 Vehicles in SD RV Lot

PIEDMONT, S.D. (AP) – A recent hail storm in western South Dakota dented about 500 trailers and motorhomes at an RV lot, resulting in millions of dollars in damages, according to an employee at the RV dealer.

Hailstones ranging in size from a quarter to a grapefruit hit an area spanning from eastern Wyoming into South Dakota and across the Black Hills on Friday, the Rapid City Journal reported. The downpour started with heavy rain and winds of 50 mph (80 kph).

The first hail began in the size of a pea but left rows of aluminum-sided RVs damaged, said Keith Ness, who works at Jack’s Campers RV lot in Piedmont. He said nearly every trailer on the outdoor lot suffered significant damage.

``It’s Mother Nature. You can’t do nothing about it,’’ Ness said.

Ness said he and other employees worked Saturday to replace broken roof vents and cover cracked RV windows with tape and plastic sheeting. Fiberglass panels and some tempered glass windows appeared to have better fared the storm. Ness estimates that half of the inventory was new, and that many will be a total loss.

Nearby Interstate 90 also saw hail smash windshields and windows on about two dozen cars and trucks.

The Rapid City National Weather Service office said reports identified 1.75-inch (4-centimeter) diameter hail in Fall River County and 4.5-inch (11-centimeter) hailstones in Butte County. The Piedmont-Tilford area of Meade County experienced 2- to 3-inch (5- to 8-centimeter) diameter hail.

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