Temperatures in Indianapolis had been dropping this week, so we knew a change in the weather was in store, but we hardly expected anything like tonight.
We were in the middle of entertaining a guest, about forty minutes into Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans when we realized that the explosive sounds of mega-scorpion warfare on TV were suddenly being drowned out by what sounded like massive artillery fire from outside, bombarding our house from every direction. Violating one of my personal rules, I paused in the middle of an action scene, then pulled the drapes to scope out the fuss.
Lo and behold: central Indiana was under siege by killer hail from above.
For readers lacking a frame of reference, let it be known for the record that our modest deck doesn’t normally look like someone’s laying the foundation for Christmas Town.
We’ve had hail before. The average hailstorm ’round our part of Indianapolis lasts twenty to thirty seconds, at best — not nearly long enough to jangle our nerves. This time was not the same. I rarely describe meteorological events as “frightening”, even when tornado sirens are blaring in my ear and the clouds have turned the color of murder. Tonight, the intensity level assailing our humble abode was officially frightening. For several minutes that dragged like dangerous hours, the onslaught just wouldn’t stop. This new, sturdier, 21st-century hailstorm raged and roared to the point where my son actually evacuated the living room to get away from the potentially hazardous window glass. We Hoosiers have been taught and lectured about important safety tips like that for years. I can’t blame him for obeying them, or for thinking his father was insane for being mesmerized by this unheralded, unsafe display of nature’s brutality.
I might’ve been a little more grounded and less collected if I’d looked out our front door first. This is what the storm did to our neighbors’ very large tree across the street:
Granted, this could have been a stray lightning bolt accompanying the hailfire, rather than the hailfire itself. Somehow that doesn’t brighten my impression of the event.
So far our house seems unscathed, except for two sides that are now plastered with our neighbors’ former leaves. It remains to be seen how our roof fared. Our evergreen bushes out front are wider than they were this morning, as if a rhino rolled around on them to scratch his back. Our power blacked out in the middle of the storm, and remained kaput for over two hours before service resumed. As I understand it, we’re among the lucky ones in that regard — local news is reporting that thousands more people remain without power at the moment, and Lord only knows how many hail-related horror stories will be aired or posted by morning. I pray there were no casualties in all this, and that the damage is much less than I fear.
Admittedly, the hailstorm certainly put those fake, showy mega-scorpions into proper, minuscule perspective.