Significant damage reported from Friday afternoon hail storm

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 20:18:38-04

(VALIER) A hail storm ripped through Pondera County Friday afternoon, causing significant damages to homes, cars, and fields.

Residents in Valier say although being from Montana makes them prone to unpredictable weather, nothing compares to the storm they witnessed on Friday.

“It was almost like a bomb exploded. Glass was flying, glass flew eight feet into our living room and busted our TV. It was complete chaos for about three minutes,” Glen Hoffman said.

Hoffman has been a resident for a decade but familiar with the area for 30 years. He says the storm came out of nowhere.

“All of a sudden the hail started, and the noise got so loud that we couldn’t talk to each other. We just stared in awe and watched all the windows bust out of the house,” Hoffman said.

Same went for resident Renae Bowers down the street. She was home with the kids when the storm came through.

“They army-crawled into my bedroom and barricaded themselves in my bedroom. I made them stay where they were and get away from windows,” Bowers said. “I’ve never, ever witnessed a storm like this in Valier.”

Pondera, Teton and Cascade County were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for much of Friday. Winds were reportedly up to 50 miles per hour.

“You couldn’t hear anything other than it sounded like gunshots were going off,” Bowers said.

“It got pretty intense we didn’t know if it were going to get stronger or let up. It was more of a shock. Just a helpless feeling watching the hail beat our truck in and bust the windows out of our home,” Hoffman said.

Residents will wait until an insurance adjuster can make it out to Valier to find out just how much the damages cost.

“People are driving around helping each other board up windows and doing what they can to help each other,” Hoffman said. “Everybody’s just kind of lost. It happened so fast and so devastating were just kind of in shock.”

-Reported by Elizabeth Transue/MTN News