THERE was traffic chaos as a freak localised hailstorm fell on parts of Torquay on Tuesday morning at just before 8am.
Police had to close the main Hellevoetsluis Way dual carriageway between Gallows Gate and Kerswell Gardens after cars collided in the icy conditions.
Torbay Council gritters were called by police to make the road safe after reports of a traffic collision.
The road closure caused tailbacks around Shiphay, the Newton Road and along the A380 as far as Penn Inn at Newton Abbot.
The road was eventually reopened nearly three hours after the initial report of a two-car crash at 7.45am.
Weatherman Ernie Freed said: "It was very unusual because the temperature was up to 3.6 degrees centigrade. It appears that the hailstones were very localised around the Shiphay area. There was nothing at all in Preston."
In one home at Lincombe Drive the hailstones cracked a flat roof causing water to pour into the house.
One school bus was one and a quarter hours late. Tweeters reported that the number 26 route, serving Torquay Boys' Grammar School, was caught in the Shiphay Lane traffic standstill.