The Path to Preparedness: Wind and Hail

Weather News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Severe weather season is back, and that means wind and hail. We’re finally done with winter’s worst. But now we’re back into severe weather season. 

Two aspects of severe storms that wreak havoc on your home and can leave you without power for days on end: hail and wind.

Wind is the most damaging weather impact on the electric system. Eversource Energy is one of the companies working to keep the lights on when the wind knocks trees and branches onto power lines.

“Trees are actually the number one cause of power outages across our electric system. We look at, for example, the spring. It’s been a wet spring so far, and it’s been a particularly windy spring so far. So a lot of these trees’ roots, they’re giving way causing trees to fall along our distribution lines.” Reid Lamberty, Eversource

Even though Eversource has invested in power resiliency, outages are inevitable. Their electric lines are built to withstand strong gusts, but it’s days with strong sustained winds that cause the most issues. That’s where the 24/7/365 monitoring comes in, they’re always prepared to adjust the number of crews out in the field. 

Wind and hail can cause more than just power outages. Another big factor is property damage. 

In 2018, hail and wind alone caused over $173,000 in property damage in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. But whether you want to file a claim after storm damage to your home, depends on your policy. 

“I do think it makes sense to consider the deductible before filing a claim because if your damage is close to the deductible, it just may not make sense to through all that hassle, or to put in a claim on your loss history if you’re really going to be close to your deductible.” Bill Trudeau, Insurance Center of New England

If you sustain storm damage, first, make sure you’re safe. Then, you document the damage and contact your insurance agent to make the decision whether to issue a claim. Winds can knock down trees, but hail can also break windows. The stronger the thunderstorm, the more damage can be done. 

Many people think hail is a type of winter precipitation, and therefore get shocked when they see it in the summer. But actually, you need a strong thunderstorm in order to form hail, so it’s actually more common in the spring and summer.

How does hail form?

Hail forms when a thunderstorm has strong-enough updrafts, which is an upward current of fast-moving air, that carry raindrops high into bitter-cold areas of the atmosphere where they freeze into ice. Once the hailstone is heavy enough to outweigh the strength of the updraft, it falls to the ground.

As severe weather season approaches, keep these tips in mind to protect your home.

The Path to Preparedness:


Rewatch: 22News Storm Team web discussion on severe weather

The 22News Storm Team hosted a live severe weather special online only at WWLP.com.

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Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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