Mystery Ice Crashes into Iowa Woman's Home
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
We don't usually bring you stories about dangerous ice this time of the year, but a story about falling ice in Dubuque, Iowa, caught our attention. Imagine this: Jan Kenkel was standing at her kitchen counter yesterday morning following her usual routine - making some coffee, preparing to go to daily mass - when she heard a tremendous noise in the other room.
Ms. JAN KENKEL (Resident, Dubuque, Iowa): But I didn't know if it was an explosion or a bomb. It just was so loud. And then - or a grenade, you know, how they are boom?
NORRIS: She peered through a doorway and looked into her TV room.
Ms. KENKEL: I was afraid to step in to that room because I thought maybe if there's another explosion or bomb goes off, I could get killed. So I thought what should I do? I just kind of got my senses together. After I got in further, when all the noise is quiet, I got in and look right up to the sky, sure.
NORRIS: She had a whole in her roof and a big mess on her floor. She wanted to call her sons to figure out what to do, but it was early. And she didn't much like that mess on her floor.
Ms. KENKEL: And I thought, well, I'll pick this debris up because if they come, I don't want them tromping through it, you know. So I went and got a garbage can and I picked up a scoop - I had a scoop in the shed. Scooped everything -it was real heavy. And I thought there's something in it, so I naturally got in there. I found a big chunk of ice full of insulation. It didn't even look like ice. It looked like a ball of fuzz.
NORRIS: And in the center of that ball of fuss - ice. A big old ball of ice about 50 pounds, she says. Understandably, Jan Kenkel was shaken.
Ms. KENKEL: I didn't know what to do. I had to get - it was 5:30 in the morning. Do you have your wits together?
NORRIS: Well, not always. No.
Ms. KENKEL: Well, that what I'd be. I just had to take a few moments…
NORRIS: And you were making a cup of coffee had - you probably hadn't even had your morning coffee yet.
Ms. KENKEL: I hadn't had anything. I just got out of bed and was getting ready to go to church.
NORRIS: Now it's been more than 24 hours since this happened. Have you figured out this mystery? Do you have any idea where that ice came from?
Ms. KENKEL: Well, I don't because I'm no geologist or whatever, meteorologist or whatever. But they had a good article in the paper from the Telegraph explaining it made more sense than any, and my one son said too, it could be ice that fell off the plane because it wasn't blue, you know. So I don't know.
NORRIS: Now in the paper there - in the Telegraph Herald, the local paper there in Dubuque, they said that that this could be - let me see if I get this word right, a megacryometeor, is what they're saying.
Ms. KENKEL: I meant - days from now, there might be more on this deal, maybe they'll figure out what it was. Should I get this ice analyze that it might be toxic or something?
NORRIS: Well, a professor of geology and geography was again quoted in a local paper out there in Dubuque said that it's sort of like a large piece of hail, almost.
Ms. KENKEL: Yeah, yeah. Well that made sense to me. I don't know how can you - something like this you don't hear often. How do you know - how can you say what it is? I mean, you don't even know where it comes from. And that sounded the most logic to me.
NORRIS: So did someone come and take the ice? Did someone examining it?
Ms. KENKEL: No, it's in the freezer.
NORRIS: It's still in your freezer?
Ms. KENKEL: Well, I have to have it for the adjuster because I once thought he should see it.
NORRIS: Oh, the insurance adjuster?
Ms. KENKEL: Yeah, he's here now, and I should be really going.
NORRIS: Oh, oh. So he's waiting for you there. I was wondering, you know, this must one heck of an insurance claim. What are - how do you fill that out? What do you say?
Ms. KENKEL: I don't have any idea. He put the claim in it, that's all I know. It says natural disaster but - it ain't my fault. I didn't do it.
NORRIS: You've got an insurance claim to work out and sounds like there someone there waiting to talk to you.
Ms. KENKEL: Yeah.
NORRIS: So let me not hold you up anymore. Go take care of business, and thank you for taking time to talk to us.
Ms. KENKEL: You're very welcome, I'm sure. Thank you so much.
NORRIS: Thank you. That was Jan Kenkel. She was speaking to us from Dubuque, Iowa about a 50-pound block of ice that crashed to her roof on Thursday morning.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.