Hail Disaster at Mile High Comics
So much has transpired since my last newsletter that it is hard for me to remember
it all. It all began at 3 PM on Monday afternoon, as I was speaking on the phone with
a friend in my upstairs office at
My conversation was completely normal until I heard a large "plock" sound coming from
the skylight above my desk, followed by another, and then a veritable deluge of noise
that made it impossible for me to hear the person on the other end of the line, even
though I had them on speaker. It was hail! But, not just ordinary pea-sized hail. This
hail was exceptionally large, and very, very hard.
Huge Storm Cloud
Because I have no windows, what I could not see from my office was the immensity of the
storm that had suddenly subsumed not only our
but also nearly 25 square miles of northwest Denver. As the photo above clearly illustrates,
the fury of this storm was beyond anything you would ever expect to see, except perhaps
in a hurricane or an F-5 tornado. I have been witness to quite a few smaller tornadoes
(and their accompanying rain/hail bands) and this was far more intense. While the powerful
winds never became cyclonic, the hail ranged from golf ball size near our building, up to
tennis ball size about a mile away.
As I ran downstairs to see what was going on, all 42 of our beautiful skylights (including
the one over my desk...) simultaneously disintegrated under the bombardment of those huge
hailstones. We had shards of sharp acrylic raining down everywhere in
followed by the unbelievable sight of an indoor hailstorm! Everyone had to take cover to
keep from getting injured by these huge hunks of ice, as a direct hit could easily have
caused broken bones, a concussion, or worse. Through sheer good fortune, no one was injured.
While there were no customers or staff harmed by the storm,
was severely impacted. Under each and every skylight we had some measure of damage to
merchandise and fixtures. That damage was mitigated to some extent because our heroic staff
members quickly put our numerous in-store 32-gallon trash cans to work as water receptacles.
By the time the storm abated 20 minutes later, many of those trash cans were filled to the top,
which prevented enormous quantities of water from flooding the store. They also laid down
flattened Diamond boxes and sheets of plastic over our large arrays of long boxes, which
also worked remarkably well.
When all facts are considered, we came through this epic storm surprisingly well. We had
customers sheltering in the
during the storm, and we thus never actually closed. Our warehouse team immediately started
the clean-up process, so much potential secondary damage was avoided by their quick thinking.
As of this morning,
is open for business, our
orders are shipping like clockwork, and we have a disaster mitigation team on hand tallying
our losses for the insurance people. Considering that no one was injured, it could have been
Looking outside the warehouse
As regards our
I have yet to see where we lost any of the
that are a part of the
Because we have those items in densely packed storage areas, and wrapped in plastic, the hail
seems to have (mostly) missed them. As a result, our online operations are just fine, and we
are shipping orders without any delays. Absolutely no customer orders suffered any damage
While our online fared rather well through this disaster, I estimate that we did lose at least
$30,000 - $50,000 in product in the
itself, and in those areas where we sort our newly arrived collections. The windshield of my
minivan was also shattered, as was Nanette's side mirror. Our biggest loss of all may be our
however, as the remediation experts have pointed out that the huge hailstones hit with such
impact as to displace the protective gravel, and thus cause significant damage to the actual
roof membrane. We are already having water drip in places where there are no skylights, which
means that the liner has been penetrated. In addition, all the sheet metal on the roof has been
dented, including our HVAC. Preliminary estimates are that completely replacing our 60,000 square
foot roof will exceed one million dollars. Damn...
I will close by requesting that those of you who shop at
to continue to do so as normal. The store is already cleaned up, and we are restocking quickly.
Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament
to benefit the
Harvey Milk Foundation
will be held this Saturday as planned, starting at 11 AM. Please join us!
For those of you who shop with us
please place an order with us, if you can. We have a 30% off KITTYPRIDE! codeword sale in effect
for you right now on all of our
back issue comics and magazines.
A little bit of additional support during this difficult time would be very much appreciated. We
are having to cover thousands of dollars in clean-up remediation costs out-of-pocket right now,
pending eventual insurance settlements.
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
May 10, 2017
P.S. Cambridge made it though the storm just fine, but totally freaked when the skylights caved.
She raced up the stairs to her gallery room, and took cover under a table. She's back to being
her sassy self today.