Breaking News
More () »

How did hail make it inside the Alamodome during Thursday's storms?

The inside-out weather disrupted a UIL tournament basketball game in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO — Severe storms rocked much of Bexar County Thursday night, downing trees and powerlines, and even impacting a sporting event at the Alamodome where the weather made its way inside. 

It happened during the semifinal round of the UIL girls state basketball tournament. Those games continued Friday, and state champions will be determined Saturday before the boys' tournament gets underway next week. 

That means it's a busy time for those working at the Alamodome, with an added assignment of cleaning up the weather that made its way from the skies outside to the hardwood inside.

"Rain is falling inside the Alamodome as we play the fourth quarter of this girls 5A state semifinal between Frisco Liberty and Wagner," said our very own Vinnie Vinzetta, who was covering the basketball game at the time.

"Shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday, a fast-moving severe thunderstorm over downtown San Antonio produced strong wind gusts that drove small hail and rain sideways through the exhaust fan vents on the Alamodome roof," San Antonio's director of convention and sports facilities said in a statement. "The falling precipitation caused a brief delay in the UIL Girls State Basketball Tournament. Play was able to continue after crews cleaned and dried the playing surface."

But how does hail end up on the floor of a fully covered Alamodome? It's really quite simple. 

When the wind was howling at its strongest, it blew open two large five-foot-by-five-foot metal spring-loaded doors shielding the housing of the exhaust fan, which was not in use. Those doors are usually shut. That strong wind allowed the rain and small hail to blow horizontally through the exhaust fan vent, through the ductwork and into the Alamodome, eventually reaching the floor inside.

After any storm event like Thursday's, Alamodome officials say, they have roof inspectors come out the following day to check for damage. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out