A severe hailstorm struck Gyumri City in Armenia on Monday, July 13, 2020, turning roads into an 'Arctic waterway' with big chunks of ice floating through the city. The amount of rain that fell in less than 1 hour is equivalent to the city's entire July average. A local meteorologist said the event was unprecedented.
A local named Naira Grigorian, who manages a tour company in the city, said the downpour started around 12:00 UTC (16:00 LT) on Monday.
It took only minutes for houses to be inundated with what she described as an 'icy ocean,' as hail turned into clumps of ice and floated on floodwater.
Many vehicles were stranded, forcing authorities to use a boat to rescue drivers.
"People online couldn’t believe the images were real," said Grigorian, as images and videos of the inundated areas made rounds on social media.
Although hail during summer is relatively common in the city, a local meteorologist said the storm was unprecedented.
No injuries were reported, but the flood carried ice into some houses.
About 80 mm (3.1 inches) of rain and hail fell in less than an hour, which was equivalent to the average for the entire month of July.
Municipal workers began clearing operations on July 14.
Streets and basements in #Armenia's second-largest city of Gyumri were flooded after heavy rainfall and #hailstorm on Monday.— Rahul Upadhyay (@rahulrajnews) July 15, 2020
The storm left roads and vehicles partially submerged, and traffic disruptions were also reported in other parts of the northwestern #ShirakProvince. pic.twitter.com/mjBaHHxbrt
Featured image credit: Hovo Hannisyan