Chester County Lab Holds First Indoor Hailstorm

9:23 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Richburg, SC (WLTX) -- It sounded and looked just like a severe thunderstorm, but the damage done to a Chester County building was intentional.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety conducted the world's first indoor hailstorm at the Richburg facility.

"Very representative of a typical hail event, we only ran for 4-minutes and we shot about 8000 stones," said Dr. Ian Giammanco of IBHS.

Dr. Giammanco is a research scientist at the lab, he says the first indoor hailstorm was successful.

"We wanted to do our comparsion test on the building, but we also wanted to see the system perform the way we want it to, to actually produce realistic impact marks," said Dr. Giammanco.

The institute created the thousands of hailstones out of a mixture of seltzer water and tap water, the stones were shot out of canons at up to 76 mph.

The hail canons worked fine, the fans to produce the strong winds, did not start on cue, but according to Dr. Anne Cope, Vice President of Research at IBHS, it did not impact the results.

Dr. Cope said, "Unfortunately, the fans did not cooperate with us today to provide that typical strong thunderstorm wind, but the good news is it didn't change any of the results of the test."

Now that the test is complete, the scientists will go through the tedious process of analyzing the data between the different building materials.

Dr. Cope says even though it will take some time to get the results of the tests, we all can take lessons away from the hail demonstration.

"Hail is damaging, if the National Weather Service says there is a severe hail event coming to your area, take it seriously, hail is serious business," said Dr. Cope.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety's mission is to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other property losses by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

Most Watched Videos