Hail Damage Impacts Wheatland Business

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As 11 tornadoes touched down in Wyoming earlier this week, the funnel clouds were preceded by hail which caused a lot of damage in eastern Wyoming.

News 13's Jenna Jackson chased down damage and learned one man's business may not survive.

In Wheatland, George Pile commented, “I’ve been here 56 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The hail damage was “catastrophic.”

Pile continued, “All my vehicles got damaged. Two had the back windows knocked out of them and only one was actually saved because I had it under the car port.

He added he doesn't know how much insurance will cover. People came looking for cars, only to be turned away.

“We're kind of at a shutting down point until the insurance company comes in and figures out what they're going to do.”

Pile's own truck also received extensive damage.

He was not the only one, Wheatland resident Nikita Morris was struck in the head.

“In my attempt to cover my plants I got smacked in the back of the head by hail and then told my boss what happened this morning because I was feeling too lightheaded and she said I probably had a minor concussion and I was like, I’ll live.”

The storm moving through Guernsey produced a tornado and Guernsey Police Chief Dwight McGuire captured some of the hail damage on his cell phone.

He told News 13, “I was just videoing, had my phone out, about 3 to 5 miles per hour just for visibility reasons and just luckily caught the moment that the baseball sized hail shattered my windshield.”

He continued, “Pea sized hail and then just that quick it just changed to baseball sized hail.”

McGuire was making sure those visiting Guernsey and the campers nearby knew severe weather was brewing. He said storms like this are rare here.

“It was pretty interesting, it was kind of, it was a little intense for a little bit.”

As for Pile, he says life will go on.

“We will have a hail of a sale.”

Many residents thankful the storms weren't worse.

Chief McGuire said he saw rotation near Grey Rocks right outside of Guernsey but said he didn't actually see a tornado touch down.



 
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