Oakland Hills hit by sudden hail storm

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The East Bay was covered in a layer of sleet Monday morning as an unusual wintry mix of weather hit the Bay Area in April.

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"It sounded like machine gun bullets hitting the house," said Franco Perez.

He's lived in his Redwood Road home for 14 years, but has never seen something as sudden and powerful as this morning's hailstorm in the Oakland Hills.

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Skyline High School students reveled in the closest thing to a snow day they're likely to experience. Heavy hail covered the ground and shut down the steep roadways to the school.

"This was unbelievable, just like pea-shaped," he said. "I had to take the dog for a walk and I was sliding down the driveway, holding on to the railing."

Redwood Road was blanketed with hail, which happens to be a major thoroughfare leading up to Skyline High School and Merritt College.

"It was everywhere, and I was like, I hope it doesn't break my windshield cause it coming down really hard," said Nikysha Parker, who was caught in the storm that left dozens of cars basically paralyzed on Redwood Road.

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"There was so much of the hail, (it caused) slushy, icy, slippery conditions," said Officer Johnna Watson with the Oakland Police Department.

"We had a gentleman out here with a 4-by-4 and he was using it was a shovel to clean some hail from underneath the tires," explained Watson, who said she and other officers also used their boots to push the slush away from the tires of several vehicles.

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City of Oakland crews even came through the area, spreading dirt on the roadway, trying to provide enough traction for the cars to move along.

Despite all the problems created by the sudden burst of hail, many seem to relish the rarity of such an icy event in the East Bay in the middle of April.

"I was like what is this hail storm? "It was absolutely mindblowing," said Oakland resident Meghan Kilgallen. "It was so cool."

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