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Zanesville Thunderstorm August 25, 1816

     A severe thunderstorm hit Zanesville, Muskingum County, on August 25, 1816.  Strong northwest winds with the storm damaged some roofs, broke windows and downed trees.  Heavy rains filled the streets with water.  Lightning and thunder was nearly continuous.  One house was hit by lightning, and some shingles were  torn off.    

Cleveland Thunderstorm of June 6, 1824

     During the night of June 6, 1824, a severe thunderstorm struck Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.  For approximately two hours, lightning and thunder were nearly constant, and rainfall was quite heavy.  Streams rose quickly, and a number of small bridges were swept away by the rampaging waters.  Lightning struck several trees near the Lake Erie shore, and lightning also entered the chimney of a house during the morning of the 7th, stunning some of the family members in the house.

 

Rains of July 19, 1831

     During the night of July 19, 1831, Portsmouth, Ohio (Scioto County) was visited by a series of heavy rains with hardly a break of any kind between them for ten hours.  In that ten hour time span, rainfall totaled four inches, which greatly contributed to the 9.40 inches of rain measured there for the month of July, 1831.  Due to the heavy rains of the 19th, much damage was done to the banks of the canal, and the Scioto River rose rapidly on the 20th and 21st - sometimes at the rate of one foot an hour.  Wheelbarrows, scrapers, and lumber could be seen floating along on the river.  There was also considerable damage to the wheat crop in the area.

 

London, Ohio Storm of June 22, 1845

     A violent storm hit London, Madison County, Ohio on June 22, 1845.  Barns, fences, houses and numerous trees were blown down.  Entire trees were lifted into the air and turned over and over as though they were small boards.

 

Norwalk, Ohio Storm April 30, 1852

     A violent thunderstorm struck Norwalk, Huron County, Ohio at about 7:00 in the evening of April 30, 1852.  Hailstones of walnut size and larger fell for 15 to 20 minutes, breaking many windows on the south side of houses.  After the hailstorm was about over, heavy rains descended on the city and continued much of the night.   Water rose up to five feet in the creek which passes through the city, flooded the road, and washed away fences, piles of wood, bridges and other items.  One person lost 50 cords of wood and another about the same amount. 

 

Ohio Valley Windstorm May 21, 1860

     An unusual and quite violent thunderstorm squall line hit the Ohio Valley region of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio on May 21, 1860.  The area in which the winds were most damaging was approximately 40 miles wide and about 900 miles long.  There may have been some funnel clouds and a few possible tornadoes embedded within this squall line, but nearly all the damage was caused by straight-line microburst winds.  Heavy rain and, in numerous cases, hail also accompanied the storm which lasted between 10 and 20 minutes at any one location.  Total damage over the entire path of the storm far exceeded $1,000,000.

     Numerous injuries occurred at Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and at least six people were killed there.  Five churches were severely damaged.  One church had its organ pipes all destroyed, and three churches had their steeples blown down.  One school was unroofed and a wall of it blown in, while a metal roof on another building was rolled up like a scroll.  A brick building under construction was demolished, burying two workmen under debris and killing them.  At one location, a boy was blown into the Ohio River, rescued, and then blown in again and drowned.  In a number of instances, horse drawn carriages either had their horses killed or the carriages smashed by falling trees.  The Lunatic Asylum had its roof ripped off, and the carpet was torn from the floor and stairway.

     At Cheviot, Hamilton County, an oak tree 20 inches in diameter was snapped off.  Fruit was damaged and gardens wrecked at Walnut Hills, Hamilton County.  Telegraph poles throughout the stormís path were thrown down.

     On the Ohio River one boat, valued at $5000, was capsized, drowning two cabin boys.  Some other boats were driven onto the Kentucky shore by the violent winds.  Trees covered the tracks of the Hamilton, Dayton and Cincinnati Railroad bringing trains to a halt.  Thousands of trees covered the tracks of the Cincinnati, Wilmington and Zanesville Railroad between Morrowtown in Morrow County and Circleville in Pickaway County.

     Towns and villages between Cincinnati and Loveland, also in Hamilton County, suffered extensive damage, and the railroad depot at Loveland, along with other buildings, was destroyed.  Damage at Loveland was estimated at $10,000.

     The squall line hit Portsmouth, Ohio in Scioto County at about 4:00 p.m., which was one hour after it had first hit Cincinnati.  Houses at Portsmouth were unroofed, and a church steeple which contained a bell and clock tower was blown across the street.  One girl was killed when the wall of her house fell on top of her.  Two other people died in Portsmouth due to the storm.  Chimneys were blown down, and roads were blocked by fallen trees.  The air was filled with bricks, rafters, roofing, shingles and timbers.  Smokestacks, as well as steeples and buildings, were demolished.

     Down at Covington, Kentucky, a train on the Covington and Lexington Railroad was blown off the tracks, and the baggage car was wrecked.  Twelve trees fell in front of the train, but none of the passengers were injured.

   

May, 1884 Storms

     Tarlton in Pickaway County was hit by a severe rain and wind storm on May 19, 1884.  Approximately 30 houses, which was nearly the entire village, were unroofed, a blacksmith shop was demolished, trees were uprooted, and fences were blown down.  One person was seriously injured.  This same storm brushed by Lancaster in Fayette County and was termed a "young cyclone" there, but this may have only been straight line wind damage.  See the Tornadoes page for more details on the storm at Lancaster.

     Another severe storm hit Coshocton in Coshocton County the same afternoon.  Again, roofs were blown from buildings while other roofs were damaged.  A window blew in on one woman, breaking here collar bone.  Fences and trees were also downed.

 

 

              Heavy Rainfalls of June and July, 1896

 

     June of 1896 was a very wet month in Ohio.  Thunderstorms occurred somewhere in the state on 19 days that month and dumped some torrential rainfalls.  Auburn in Geauga County received 1.35 inches of rain in just 15 minutes on June 7, Vickery in Sandusky County had 1.10 inches in 15 minutes on the 7th, Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) measured 3.10 inches in 24 minutes from June 7-8, New Holland in Pickaway County got 2.29 inches in half an hour on the 23rd, and Walnut also in Pickaway County measured 1.30 inches in one hour on the 5th.   Other heavy rainfalls occurred that month over longer periods of time.  Akron in Summit County received 3.60 inches in 7 hours on the 7th and 5.36 inches from the 6th to the 8th, while Warren in Trumbull County reported 6.72 inches of rain from the 6th to the 9th.

     More heavy rains hit Ohio in July, 1896, causing some flooding in lowlands.  Crops in such areas were heavily damaged, some wheat and oats was rotting in the shocks, some potato fields were hit with rot, and numerous acres of corn in low areas along streams and rivers were under water.  Some of the heavy storm total rainfalls for July, 1896 in Ohio were: Pataskala (Licking County) 1.07 inches in 25 minutes on the 27th, Dupont (Putnam County) 1 inch in 40 minutes on the 2nd, Camp Dennison (Hamilton County) 0.84 inch in 25 minutes on the 2nd and 1.15 inches in 45 minutes on the 5th, Columbus (Franklin County) 2 inches in one hour on the 24th,  McArthur (Vinton County) 3.32 inches in one hour on the 14th, and Plattsburg (Clark County) 4.20 inches of rain in 4 hours and 5 minutes on the 23rd to 24th.  For the month of July, 1896, a number of stations in the state measured more than 10 inches with Cambridge in Guernsey County reporting a monthly total of 12.72 inches, North Lewisburg in Champaign County reporting 14.15 inches for the month, and Demos in Belmont County measuring 16.13 inches for the month of July.

    

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            Northern Ohio Squall Line of May, 1899

     Called a "wind squall" what was most probably a squall line passed across northern Ohio around noon on May 16, 1899.  It traveled at the rate of 50 mph, unroofed and otherwise damaged numerous buildings, prostrated fences, blew down oil derricks, and downed many trees.  In Gorham Township, Fulton County, the squall line destroyed a brick school house, injuring 7 students and their teacher.  At Canal Fulton, Stark County, the squall line hit about 3:15 p.m., blowing in the gable end of another school house and injuring some of the students.  Severe thunderstorms, accompanied in some cases by hail caused more damage later that afternoon and evening.  Slate and iron roofs were broken, window panes were broken, and sheep killed in southern Wayne and northern Holmes counties.

 

Wayne County Thunderstorm of September, 1899

     A violent thunderstorm hit Wooster and other parts of Wayne county, Ohio on September 7, 1899.  This storm, which lasted more than an hour, moved in from the northwest and was accompanied by destructive wind, some hail and dangerous lightning.  Lightning burned several barns, resulting in two deaths.  The wind flattened fields of corn to the ground, uprooted numerous large trees, stripped apples from orchard trees, unroofed some barns and destroyed others, blew over windmills, and even killed some livestock.

 

   

 

  

Weather Rainfall Records