Thunderstorms, twisters, hurricanes – they all deal a lot of damage to life and property. But perhaps the most scariest and life-threatening among these weather disturbances is the hail storm. Its immediate effect could be deadly. Hailstones as hard as rock the size of golf balls accelerates to the ground creating massive destruction.
The worst hailstorm reported on April 15, 1999 happened in Sydney Australia when hailstones rocked the country smashing through windows and roofs. The noise created by the huge hails was terrifying. In the coastal area of Dolans Bay, Guildford, a fisherman was struck by a lightning, killing him instantly. Meanwhile, motorists were stranded when hailstones created a huge roadblock in Royal National Park.
Cars and automobiles by the thousands were severely damaged, and for the first time, Sydney’s State Emergency Service received the most number of calls due to the worst damage ever recorded due to hailstorms.
The number of damaged homes rose to almost a thousand that day according to some assessments. In response to the situation, houses were covered with tarpaulins. The Rural Fire Service and the SES were among the ones who responded to the crisis.
From Wollongong, the storm ravaged its way to Maianbar, Lilli Pilli, to Yowie Bay, travelling further to the north. But the worst-hit among suburbs was Lilli Pilli. There was a lot of wreckage in the place. The devastation looked liked the aftermath of a war.
Some residents commenting on the incident told about the frightening noise created by the hail hitting against the roof. According to some, it sounded like elephants walking on the roof or like the sound of being shelled by bombs.
The incident is also a test of character for the residents and volunteers who responded to the event. Victims showed lack of patience to the volunteers of the State Emergency Service who were worn out from exhaustion. Others however showed a lot of character by helping each other out while waiting for emergency services to arrive. One of the celebrity actress Joyce Jacobs was happy about how their neighbors and emergency services worked together in crisis situation.