A Lacombe County resident who lives east of Red Deer watched golf ball-sized hail pummel her vegetable garden and flower beds on Monday afternoon.
But the damage didn’t end there.
The rock-hard balls of ice also knocked the flowers off her family’s nearby canola fields.
“It was crazy,” said Amanda Stahl about the hail storm that struck at about 4 p.m. and continued for roughly 20 minutes.
She said loonie and golf ball-sized hail lasted for only five minutes, but that’s a long time when you’re watching it pelt your car, plants and property.
“The raspberries were right in season and they’re all destroyed. The rest of the garden, which was looking so good, is gone.”
Stahl, who lives on the farm east of Red Deer near the Red Deer River, said the ground was white with hail when it was over, and some hail was still visible on the ground Tuesday morning.
She said friends who live five minutes north only received the small-sized hail.
“It just depends on where you are,” said Stahl who had never experienced such a severe hail storm before.
Her dad Terry Young agreed that when it comes to hail it’s hit and miss. This time about 80 per cent of his crops got nailed by hail, and a number of his neighbours also had damage to varying degrees.
“It was fairly wide spread,” Young said.
“We don’t get hailed out that often, but it’s a common part of July. We have to expect that.”
He said hail was pea to golf ball-sized and it’s hard to say what would do more damage when there’s a considerable amount of small hail.
A few years ago his farm saw hail on July 13, but there wasn’t any frost until after Thanksgiving so some of the crop reached a reasonable grade and could be harvested.
“They’re pretty resilient, but it’s a matter of how many frost-free days we have left now.”
He said crop insurance helps, but farmers hate to see minimal results at the end of the season after all their work.
“It’s just a fact of farming. We are ‘always next year’ people,” Young said.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation said it was aware of Monday’s storm in Lacombe County and received some hail claims from the area on Tuesday.
“It is too early to know the scope of the damage as clients are just beginning to scout the damage and claims will likely continue to come in over the next few days. Clients have 14 days after a storm to report hail damage to AFSC,” said the corporation in a statement.
AFSC said a minimum of 10 per cent damage is required to initiate a claim, and there must be at least 10 per cent hail damage on each spot-loss area for those areas to quality for payment. Claims can be filed through AFSC Connect.
On Tuesday morning, Environment and Climate Change Canada had not yet received reports from people about the hail storm and encouraged photos or video to be emailed to email@example.com
The email is monitored for severe weather reports only and no response will be provided.
People can also report severe weather by calling the severe weather reporting line at 1-800-239-0484.
If severe weather is ongoing, and a danger to life and property, people should seek shelter and provide Environment Canada with additional information only when it is safe to do so. The time, date, location, and photographs of the severe weather event, or its aftermath, is appreciated.