Some thought it as ‘horrifying’, others labelled it ‘unbelievable’ and one man even described feeling a shock wave from a sonic boom.
But this was not the end of the world - rather a freak outbreak of hailstones that centred over the Queens area of New York City.
Some of the hailstones were as big as baseballs and smashed car windows, punctured outdoor furniture and sent people scurrying inside.
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Baseball sized: A freak outbreak of hailstones centred over the Queens area of New York City on Monday night and scared local residents
Impact: Cars had their wind-shields s masked by the base-ball sized hail which followed a heatwave in New York
However the strange weather was good news for vehicle repair shops, which were experiencing overwhelming demand.
Tip Top Auto Body on Long Island, New York, usually gets 15 calls a day but received 100 on Monday night after the storm.
‘It's a windfall for me, a catastrophe for others,’ owner Bob Polgar told NBC, with one of the major problems being dents on roofs.
‘They were the size of tennis balls,’ resident Sandy White told NBC. ‘I had to check if any of my windows were broken.’
Broken: Some of the hailstones were as big as baseballs and smashed car windows, punctured outdoor furniture and sent people scurrying inside
Evan Susman said he had been hit in the head by the hail and had never seen anything like it, as travel chaos struck the local area.
Gail Kolidas told CBS New York 'it was horrifying' and Sherly Mesten called it 'unbelievable'.
‘You could actually feel the shock wave from the sonic boom from the lightning bolt,’ Mike Akers told CBS New York.
Stones: Thousands of commuters had their journeys delayed on the Long Island Rail Road but the strange weather was good news for vehicle repair shops
A swimmer was hit by lightning on a New Jersey beach and thousands of commuters had their journeys delayed on the Long Island Rail Road.
John D'Agostino, 44, a Social Security Administration manager, said he showed his three-year-old son what was happening as it was so unusual.
‘I could hear these big noises on the roof,’ he told the New York Daily News. ‘I have skylights so it sounded like the glass was going to break.’