Major hailstorm causes damage in Yuma

DENVER (KDVR) — Severe storms on Monday night pelted northeast Colorado with damaging hail that shattered windows and covered the ground like snow in the plains community of Yuma.

Volunteer firefighter JJ Unger told FOX31 there was hail damage across the area after the severe storm. And with the town already under a flash flood warning — and facing the threat of tornadoes — it had begun to flood with the hail backing up drainage flows.

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“There’s going to be a lot of cleaning up to do in this town,” Unger said.

“Widespread” power outages were reported Monday in northern Yuma County and the eastern edge of northern Washington County, according to Y-W Electric Association, Inc. Both counties were under tornado warnings at points in the night.

Unger described the chaotic scene as severe weather hit. He and other volunteer firefighters were called out for duty.

“We were out spotting and then we heard a big bolt of lightning and a big flash, and they said a power line was down in town, sparking and starting a little fire. So we started to head towards town and that’s when the hail started, and the hail came down like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was at least golf ball-size,” Unger said.

  • A sedan partially submerged in hail
    A major Colorado hailstorm pelted Yuma on May 20, 2024, causing damage around town. (JJ Unger)
  • A white Ford F-150 windshield is destroyed by hail
    A major Colorado hailstorm pelted Yuma on May 20, 2024, causing damage around town. This Ford F-150 was hit in the storm. (JJ Unger)
  • A front-end loader scoops up mounds of hail
    A front-end loader scoops up the mounds of hail that battered Yuma on May 20, 2024. (JJ Unger)
  • Hail covers the ground like snow
    Hail covers the ground like snow in Yuma on May 20, 2024. (JJ Unger)
  • A back windshield is missing glass with shards visible
    Hail shattered windshields all over Yuma on May 20, 2024, including this car’s. (JJ Unger)

Cows hit by car, vehicles slide off highway during Colorado hailstorm

Crews had to pull over because of a lack of visibility as the hail poured over Yuma. Unger’s Ford F-150 pickup truck suffered damage, with the windshield battered — just as the windows were blasted out at the Yuma fire hall.

“I would assume all the vehicles around town and houses have windows that are shattered too,” Unger said.

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Unger said vehicles slid off the road during the storm, and cows were on U.S. 34 heading toward town. At least one car hit one of them.

“We’re still kind of dealing with the aftermath here. A lot of our wives and people texting us that they were scared because all the windows in the houses were breaking,” Unger said.

Storm having lasting impact on Tuesday

Now that the storm has moved on, the city of Yuma is left to pick up the mess.

The Yuma School District announced that all schools and district offices would be closed on Tuesday because of the severe weather that moved through Monday night. All activities were canceled as well.

According to the Pinpoint Weather team, more storms are expected Tuesday night, but they are not predicted to be as severe.

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