Major Hail Damage Reported After Severe Storms Monday

Wylie ISD says classes will resume Wednesday after storm damage cleanup

The Wylie Independent School District says it plans to reopen its schools Wednesday, two days after severe thunderstorms left damage across several areas in North Texas Monday.

All of the district's 19 schools were closed Tuesday. The majority had broken windows and water damage, much of which the district began repairing as soon as the storm ended. A cost estimate of repairs has not yet been released.

Along Springwood Drive, where Aikin Elementary School was hit hardest, several residents also suffered a similar fate.

The Wylie ISD canceled classes Tuesday. A district statement says educators were not able to provide a safe learning environment due to "significant" storm damage.

No damage estimate was immediately available following storms late Monday that hit Wylie, which has more than 14,000 students on 19 campus.

Volunteers Helping Clean Up

Many in the Wylie community are coming together to help each other. Brothers Blaine and Jack Winn spent much of their day off from school Tuesday helping Sherry Sanders and her sister clean up.

"When she answered the phone and said somebody is coming out to help it was like, 'Oh thank God, thank God,' because I didn't really know what we needed help with. There was too much," Sanders said.

First Baptist Church in Wylie has created a form online for those who need help and for those who would like to volunteer to help coordinate efforts.

Homes, Property Damaged

"All the front windows were busted out. It was all water just coming down from the roof," said homeowner, Amber Payne.

Payne's entire street had signs of some kind of damage. Once the rain and hail subsided, many tried to quickly board up winds and cover open areas with tarp, in the event bad weather should hit again.

"It pretty much just tore the roof right off. I was actually thankful to see we had 2/3 of it still on," said business owner, Chris Feinhals.

After the hail hit, Feinhals returned to work to assess the damage. Pieces of his roof landed in a nearby shopping plaza. He expects the replacement costs to total $100,000.

Even those who would normally be fixing the damage for customers faced their own repairs. Servpro of Farmer's Branch found several of their cars lost windows in the storm-a first for the company.

"Everybody comes out and just kind of looks around and goes, 'Lord, what happened?'" said owner, John Mondy. "We haven't been to sleep in probably 36 hours."

It was more of the same in other parts of town. Those who live on Rail Tree Drive said you had to see it to believe it.

"It was baseball-sized," said Rebecca Buxton, as she looked at the shattered back window of her car. "And I used to hear that as a kid and think, ha ha ha, those people don't know what baseball-sized hail is, but they were as big as a baseball!"

The hail made yards look snow-kissed in April. The Olsen brothers shoved it off their driveway after their baseball game was canceled because of the baseball sized hail.

"It was pretty intense," said David Olsen, looking at his dented rental car.

Olsen's own truck was in the shop being repaired from the last hail storm, just two-and-a-half weeks ago.

"I guess that's one of those times you should have bought that $14-a-day insurance. You get the rental car and you always decline because you don't think you're going to need it," he laughed. "I needed it!"

The top-floor windows of his home were shattered by hail. A couple of them smashed his 50-inch TV. "I guess my son is not going to be able to play Minecraft tonight," Olsen joked.

Many on Rain Tree Drive just had insurance adjusters out from the last storm. They know this might not be their last brush with severe weather this season.

"Don't worry about the things you can't control," Olsen said with a smile. "Just control the things you can."

Several Collin County neighborhoods were still without electricity late Monday because of the storm.

Nelson Graves said his wife and two children were sitting in their living room when hail came crashing through their roof and ceiling.

"Through the attic, through 5/8-inch sheet rock, and then hit the floor and you still have this size left," Graves said, holding a golf-ball sized piece of hail.

His neighbor's house is in even worse shape. The ceiling is caved in and daylight could been seen through several spots in the roof where hail crashed through.

"I've been in Texas almost 34 years and that's probably the most devastating hail I've ever seen," Graves said.

Graves said he met with his insurance adjustor, who totaled out his roof from last month's storm just five hours before Monday's storm hit.

No Major Injuries Reported

Some Wylie residents filled a free-standing emergency room with minor injuries after Monday's hail storm.

Most of the injuries involved cuts from broken glass, but the storm left many shaken.

Sara Carrea brought her 8-month-old daughter, Addison, to see a doctor after she was covered in glass in her car seat when the windows of the vehicle they were in shattered in the storm.

"I took a bag and covered her and then just covered my body over her, and I mean like everything was shattered. And the car started moving. It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. I feel like I'm traumatized from it," Carrea said.

Carrea waited at a clinic, but after a long wait said she was headed home to try to get the glass out on her own.

"Couldn't see her because they're so busy," Carrea said.

Wylie City Spokesman Craig Kelly said Monday night there were no reports of any major injuries from the storm.

NBC 5's Noelle Walker, Meredith Yeomans, Jocelyn Lockwood and Caroline Connolly contributed to this report.

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