KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Tuesday night’s storm caught many people by surprise, including a man whose car window was shattered by hail while he was on his way back to Knoxville from Chattanooga.
Judd Rambo described the pellets of frozen rain as the size of ping pong balls.
“It took several good hits,” said Rambo.
While on Interstate 75, driving conditions quickly got rough in Cleveland and fog only made things worse.
“Everyone started pulling over and at that point, it got heavy enough that it started tearing up the windows.”
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Rambo is one of many people planning to go to the repair shop after Tuesday’s storm.
“Some of the hailstones were big enough that they went through the plastic of the back dashboard,” said Rambo. “I’ve never seen anything like that. It was actually flexing from the impact and the front windshield held out a little bit better. It’s got some spiral breaks in it and some fractures, but it didn’t collapse.”
Rambo said it sounded like, “Somebody hitting the car with a baseball bat, over and over again. It was really loud enough that I couldn’t hear the radio, I tried to call my wife. It really was deafening.”
After several small holes turned into a big gash, Rambo knew he had a problem.
“One of the realizations I made sitting in the car is how powerless we were in the face of Mother Nature. She’s just going to do what she wants to do.”
His advice for other drivers who may be faced with this kind of weather in the future is to carry emergency supplies like water or a first aid kit.
“I had all of that in the car so it wasn’t as scary.”
Rambo also says he now has to file a claim with his insurance, but the dents, cracks and broken windshield may cost thousands of dollars to repair.