Hail Storm Damages Krakow

The storm began around 01:00 after a warm, humid air mass from the south collided with a cool, dry air mass from the west. Strong winds blew at 90 kilometers per hour, bringing hailstorm that destroyed trees, roofs and other exposed property. Błonia and Planty took the most damage, as they have the biggest trees in Krakow’s center.

Alleys were covered with broken branches. In some places, whole trees were ripped out with the roots.The fallen trees caused even more damage, smashing cars, breaking windows and tram-tracks. A tree smashed a figure of the Holy Virgin that stood near ul. Jagiellonska, rain soaked the walls of kings’ crypts and the wind blew off roofs in villages.

Repairs began the same night, but the real cleaning work began that morning. Krakow Crisis Management Center statistics say that in three days, it took 521 firefighters to clear the damage (during and after the storm).

About 400 trees were damaged, 90 of which will have to be permanently removed. The rest will undergo a special treatment. With four tram-tracks broken and severe botanical and architectural destruction, the city faces 800,000 zloty in damage repair costs.”It’s a miracle that there were no injuries,” said Jacek Bodzioch from the Crisis Management Center. “If the storm had occurred during the day, it would have been worse.”

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