SANTA ROSA, N.M. (KRQE) - A storm dumped inches of hail on Santa Rosa Wednesday evening leaving a lot of ice and damage in its wake.
The storm, which moved in from San Miguel County, lasted for about an hour.
Thursday morning, Santa Rosa still looked like a winter wonderland from the air. Ice blanketed the streets, parks and rooftops on the Fourth of July, the morning after the storm that dumped 3-6 inches of nickel- to golf-ball-sized hail that accumulated to feet in depth in some places.
"It's funny to see the people at Park Lake all in shorts and stuff and swimming trunks, and in the snow, it seems like," Horacio Lopez said.
Santa Rosa's fire chief said while he appreciates the moisture during the long-running drought, the storm caused dangerous conditions on roadways.
"Some people I talked to were stuck for five to six hours," Chief Gilbert Romero said. "It's just really bad, something I've never seen in my 50 years of life. I've never seen anything like this."
Some of the original stained glass windows, dating back about 100 years, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church were damaged by the hail.
Resulting water damage also forced businesses to close including the Family Dollar as people continued to shovel hail off of roofs.
"We've just spent the morning here trying to assess our damage," Mario Trujillo, the owner of the Sun & Sand Restaurant, said. "Just looking at town, it's just incredible. We've heard of carports falling."
Roberta Blea didn't realize her carport had fallen on all three of her family's cars until after the storm passed. She said the falling hail was so loud, they couldn't hear the carport collapsing.
"I looked out and it was just raining hail," Blea told KRQE News 13. "I had never seen that happen. I just never even expected this much destruction. It's devastating."
Forecasters with the National Weather Service said these types of hail storms aren't uncommon, but that it's rare for this to happen before monsoon season starts.
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