$500,000 in El Pomar funds used for hail relief, Peacock Katy Perry killed in the storm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE 8/10/18 12:50 p.m
All hail assistance funds were used helping more than 800 people. No new applications for these grants were being taken as of Friday afternoon.

El Paso County officials are reporting the temporary hail assistance center helped 828 people providing an average of $600 per person.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also announced another confirmed animal death following Monday's storm. Officials say a peacock named Katy Perry was killed during the storm.

UPDATE 8/9/18:
This week the El Pomar Foundation donated a total of $500,000 to help with relief from Monday's hailstorm.

On Wednesday, the foundation announced a $250,000 grant and then announced a second grant with the same value on Thursday. The grants are being used to help with uninsured losses and help offset insurance deductibles resulting from the recent flooding and hail. The relief is intended for residents of Colorado Springs, El Paso County and Teller County an an assistance center was set up on Thursday.

Temporary Hail Assistance Center
El Paso County Citizen Service Center
1675 West Garden of the Gods Road
First Floor, Room 1019
Friday, August 10
7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. or until all funds are expended

El Paso County’s Fraud Investigation Unit will perform the intake and determine eligibility based on requirements that applicants be able to show both ownership and damages sustained during the storms. County finance representatives will issue checks from the special El Pomar Foundation funding to individuals directly onsite. Eligibility guidelines and documentation requirements are listed on the grant application form.

Click here to view the grant application online.

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UPDATE 8/8/18:
11 News confirmed Wednesday night that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo would remain closed until Saturday and two more animals were killed by Monday's hailstorm. There is also a "temporary hail assistance center" scheduled to open on Thursday.

Zoo staff believe a meerkat pup died after not coming out from underground and a peacock named Snoop succumbed to its injuries. On Monday the zoo announced a Cape vulture and duck had died. As of Wednesday there had been four confirmed animal deaths.

One of the zoo's Rocky Mountain Goats, Twinkie, has an eye injury. Twinkie is scheduled to be examined by a veterinary team from CSU on Friday to consult the eye injury.

All other animal injuries are improving or stable, and several have been removed from the list of medical concerns. As of Wednesday, 101 cars remained in the parking lot with hail damage. Zoo security will watch the cars through Thursday at 5 p.m., but after that they will be towed to the south corner of the lot without security monitoring. If vehicles are not claimed by Tuesday at 8 .m. they will be towed to another facility at the owner's expense.

Click here to help zoo employees recover following personal vehicle loss.

Also on Wednesday, the El Pomar Foundation granted $250,000 to help people impacted by the hail and flood damage for people in Colorado Springs, El Paso County and Teller County.

People who live, work in, or were visiting the damaged area can qualify for financial assistance where other financial support is not available from federal, state and insurance. Individual grants are available to help cover costs of vehicle and house damage, deductible assistance, and temporary lodging. A temporary hail assistance center will be open on Thursday and Friday at the El Paso County Citizen Service Center, and possibly extend additional days next week if needed.

“Serious natural events like this happen suddenly and Trustees of El Pomar are in the unique position to be able to support the community in the effort to pick up and get back to our day to day lives,” said William J. Hybl, Chairman and CEO El Pomar Foundation.

“I’d like to thank El Pomar Foundation for stepping up once again to help our community during a difficult time for many of our residents,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “We know that events like this can have a lasting impact on people trying to recover from property damage or loss of transportation, and we truly appreciate El Pomar’s assistance.”

City Council President Richard Skorman said, “We know people have been greatly impacted from the damages of recent storms, and we are grateful to El Pomar Foundation for helping out in this situation.”

Temporary Hail Assistance Center
El Paso County Citizen Service Center
1675 West Garden of the Gods Road
First Floor, Room 1019
Thursday, August 9 and Friday, August 10
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

El Paso County’s Fraud Investigation Unit will perform the intake and determine eligibility. The City of Colorado Springs will serve as the fiscal agent and a finance representative will issue checks to the individuals directly on site. Eligibility guidelines and documentation requirements are listed on the attached Intake Form and Grant Distribution Guidelines.

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UPDATE 8/6/18:

Baseball-sized hail demolished cars and pummeled buildings, stranded thousands at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and killed at least two animals as one of the summer's fiercest storms to date moved across the Pikes Peak region Monday afternoon.

"Nothing that I've been through before"

People living in the Pikes Peak region are no strangers to intense storms, but many said the ferocity of Monday's storm surprised even them.

"I picked up one piece of hail in my backseat after it shattered my window, and it was about in between the size of a baseball and a softball," said Tom Masterston, who was driving on I-25 when the hailstorm rolled in.

Masterston and others were forced to pull over on the interstate and take shelter in their backseats as large hailstones pounded their vehicles.

“Like a video game, like I was getting attacked. All the hail was coming down. There were three bikers I was more concerned about because they were just going -- at least they had their full protection on," Preston Limmer told 11 News.

"I crouched down in the back of the car as best I could because I realized it very well could come through the windshield, and it did,” Masterston said.

Down in Fountain, a frustrated Erin Rick was surveying the damage to her family's home and car -- both only recently repaired from another summer hailstorm.

"The hail just came around 2:50 ... within a matter of minutes, his windshield's smashed in ... [the June 13 storm] actually totaled his car, so this is the car that we replaced the totaled car with, so now we are on the phone with the insurance now trying to fix this car."

Stranded at the zoo

More than 3,000 guests were at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo when the storm rolled in a little after 2 p.m.

"It became a dangerous situation for both guests, staff and also our animals," said Jenny Koch, a spokesperson for the zoo.

Guests and animals alike ran for cover.

"This is not what we expected on our second day of vacation," said Tyler Hobson, who was visiting with her family from Austin, Texas.

The Hobsons joined dozens of others taking shelter in the reptile exhibit, a large multi-room building at the park.

"Next thing you know, it's pelting down this hail. Me and my husband were like, 'This is really happening, we've got to get our kids safe.' Glass was flying everywhere. All of us got cut," Hobson said.

"We started hearing it on the roof and looked up, and the shatter-proof glass -- I thought, 'Oh, that's good,' but it still breaks," laughed husband Joshua Hobson.

But it was no laughing matter at the time -- guests huddled in whatever space they could find, trying to avoid flying glass and debris.

"Not only were [the hailstones] so large, but the force -- the glass would hit the ground and it was schrapnel," Joshua Hobson said.

"We had gathered into the center of the room because on each side was glass ceiling and it was crashing on floor and hail was everywhere. Had to hunker down and get over our kids. They were terrified, crying and screaming," Tyler Hobson told 11 News.

Fourteen people were injured at the zoo, with five requiring hospitalization. Sixteen animals were injured, though the zoo said only one of the injuries, an eye injury to a mountain goat, was serious. Daisy, a 4-year-old muscovy duck, and Motswari, a 13-year-old cape vulture, were killed. With no cover for the cars parked in the lot, the zoo reported 400 vehicles sustained damage. Reporter Kyla Galer shows the extent of damage in the video below:

"It broke my heart. The boys were crying because their toys are in there, their stuffies that they've grown up with are in there, and they're probably filled with glass," said Kathi Gorrell, whose family was visiting from Illinois.

Guests were eventually evacuated via bus to nearby Cheyenne Mountain High School.

Aftermath

The zoo is closed Tuesday as employees assess damage and clean up. It's unknown when it will reopen.

Aerial images courtesy of our news partners in Denver showed widespread damage on the zoo property and surrounding homes.

Our news partners at The Gazette report USAA alone has 8,000 claims for home and vehicle damage. A mobile claims center was set up at Home Depot in the Southgate shopping center beginning at 1 p.m., with a second claims center expected to arrive later.

The zoo held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to give an updare on damage and animal conditions. Watch below:

11 News will add to this article as updates warrant it.