This trailer didn't fare so well in the storm.
June 3 is a date the most Exeter residents won’t forget. Around 11:10 a hail storm hit the area with sizes ranging from nickel to baseball sized hail stones.
Storm prediction centers had been warning for over a week of the high probability of bad weather on Tuesday. Tornados, high wind, large hail and heavy rains were the main threats thought to be associated with the storms.
Rumors about the center of the predicted storm were flying faster than the storm chasers could drive.
Storm chasers had arrived in Nebraska en masse filling hotel rooms and driving around the area in their souped up, armored cars decorated with atennas and weather gizmos.
After a tense day on Tuesday, some Nebraskans were relaxing thinking that once again the storm prediction was more hype than reality. Part of the concern associated with the predicted storm was the late night dangerous occurrences including a tornado watch that was until 1 a.m.
Exeter residents hadn’t seen a drop of rain all day but had muggy overcast conditions throughout the day. Storms were primarily to the north and didn’t start to move to the southeast part of the state until late in the day.
Winds picked up in Exeter around 11:00 p.m. with the storm entering the village around 11:10. Hail out of the north was reported in all parts of town along with high winds and heavy rain. Nearly every home with windows on the north side had broken panes and hail damage.
Roofs, siding, gutters and fascia were also damaged on the north side. Locals reported hail sized anywhere from golf ball and ping pong ball to baseball sized hail. The hail came down for close to 10 minutes with an additional round of hail that followed close. Wednesday morning found Exeter residents with piles of hail still frozen on their property.
The tornado siren did not go off in town but the hail certain was loud enough for everyone to be warned. The greatest danger to residents was the glass breakage and the hail entering the homes.
With the first wave of repairs done, now home owners are waiting to hear from insurance adjusters before the real repairs begin. Construction companies and roofing contractors had started to arrive in Exeter just a few hours after light.
With many rain gauges damaged a true total of rain is uncertain but estimated rainfall is about 3 inches.
Crops in the area were destroyed and several pivots south of Exeter were overturned along with severe damage at a bin site.
So many leaves were stripped off branches and landed in the streets of Exeter that the village maintenance department got the grader out to pile the leaves into windrows before scooping the large piles with the loader.
In the last few years the Exeter Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Exeter have worked to keep the Exeter neon sign in good working condition. Unfortunately Tuesday evening’s hail storm completely destroyed the neon tubes on both sides of the sign.