It sounds like something conjured up for a disaster movie, but it’s true: four feet of hail was dumped on Amarillo, Texas on Wednesday when a slow-moving storm came through and the ice mixed with floodwaters.
The hail piled up in huge drifts that resembled sheets of rock and blocked roadways for hours, including a major highway. The Texas Department of Transportation tweeted about the event, updating residents as to road conditions.
Heavy rain and up to 4 ft of hail has US 287 blocked north of Amarillo. Traffic moving slowly through the area. Expect some delays.
Stae HWY 136 (Fritch HWY) is closed at Fritch, TX due to flooding. Hail mixing with rainwater is also causing fog and reducing visibility.
As of yesterday, some road conditions were still not back to normal.
Traffic is moving on SB US 287 between Dumas and Amarillo. Water still on the road over US 287 at Potter/Moore County line. Travel with care
The hail mixed with dust to create a brown sludge, making it look like mud. This photo is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Amarillo.
While the storm was certainly an oddity, chief weather forecaster at the Amarillo NWS Jose Garcia says it probably wasn’t the most hail the region has seen.
Five to 6 feet of hail fell in Dalhart, Texas, in 1993 during a similar storm; it took almost a month for some roads to reopen as the compacted ice melted slowly.
“It was almost like huge snow drifts,” he said.
Texas has been hit with some harsh weather this year; in early April a huge storm system pushed several tornadoes through the state, causing massive damage and a viral video of an 18-wheeler being tossed through the air with ease.