1945: Severe storm interrupts drought

On June 18, 1945, a severe storm hit Harford County in the afternoon and caused tremendous damage to the Churchville and Level areas.

The high winds, hail, lightning and rain left shattered windows and uprooted trees along Churchville Road and Thomas Run. Hay that had been standing upright in the morning suddenly appeared to have been steamrolled flat.

The Umbarger brothers of Bel Air reported that their heifer, grazing in the pasture, was killed instantly after being struck by lightning. Lightning was also the cause of a small fire at Harry Bower's barn near Doxen's Corner. Fortunately, the Fire Department arrived quickly and extinguished the flames.

Mrs. Herbert J. Hanna was lucky to survive the storm at all. Lightning apparently hit a locust tree just outside the Hanna home, then entered the house and burned the cover off a light switch. Mrs. Hanna's arm was badly shocked as a result.

After the storm, electrical lines were down and telephone service was interrupted for some time. It should be noted that despite the destruction, the rain was welcome in the nearly drought-like condition of the county 61 years ago.

[The Aegis, Friday, June 22, 1945]

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