Hailstorms are notorious for inflicting costly damage upon property and crops every year in the United States. Annually, the destruction from these frozen rain pellets that travel dozens of miles per hour through the atmosphere results in $1 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration – NOAA. Hail also poses a safety threat to both humans and animals. NOAA estimates that 24 people in the U.S. are injured each year, with some injuries significant enough to land them in the hospital. In May , 1995, severe storms brewing over the Dallas-Fort Worth metro-plex in Texas produced damaging winds, heavy rain and extremely large hail. The storms, which remain some of the costliest in history, also impacted an outdoor festival called Mayfest, where over 10,000 people were caught out in the open with little to no shelter from the hail. More than 400 people were hurt after being pelted with hail up to the size of a softball. Although no one was killed, about 60 people were seriously injured. “What injuries we do see are to people who are out in the open, like farmers, golfers, landscapers – anyone that’s doing outside work that doesn’t have any means to find shelter right away in a storm,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. However, how likely is it that a hailstorm can actually kill you? The odds are low, but it can happen, experts say. The World Meteorological Organization reported that the highest mortality associated with a hailstorm happened in India, on April 30, 1888. The deadly storm killed 246 people with pieces of hail as large as “goose eggs, oranges and cricket balls.” In the U.S., hailstorms resulting in loss of human life are quite rare. “Hail has to be really large to cause serious injury to people, or even death,” Kottlowski said. But on May 13, 1930 one of the few deaths by hail in the US. 36 miles NW of Lubbock, TX a farmer was caught in an open field and he died from his hail caused injuries.
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