Local Weather History: The $6 Million Storm In One City & +2-Week Power Outage

A tremendous severe storm struck Logansport on June 26, 1949, but there is a reason we are talking about it on July 11.

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 4:41 PM

On June 26, 1949, a major wind & hail storm struck Logansport, just 1 year & 3 months prior to another highly-damaging storm in the city. After the significant September 1950 storm,  it would not be until 1960 that such a severe storm would hit.

Between the wind & hail (up to ping-pong ball size) transitioning to significant flash flooding, damage amounted to $6 million (inflation-adjusted) in the city alone.

Damage to trees, power lines, poles, cars & some structures was extensive.  In fact, power pole damage was so great that electricity & phone service was reportedly not completely restored in the area until July 11.

Significant flash flooding occurred with some water surrounding homes & multiple streets impassable.  Despite the dry antecedant soil conditions, the training of the torrential storms that dumped 6.68" of rainfall in a short period resulted in much water damage to structures.

Damage reports all point to a wet downburst over the city with maximum wind gust of 80 mph, followed by training storms for a time with tremendous rainfall rates.  The worst wind & hail damage was on the east side of the city.

75 trees alone, some very large, were snapped or uprooted in & around Spencer Park.

Train tracks were washed out between Garden & Holland Streets & multiple structures were struck by lightning.

+14 hours before the event, the surface map at 1:30 a.m. on June 26 showed a cluster of storms in far northeastern Indiana with an approaching surface cold front & a muggy flow from the southwest with temperatures still in the upper 70s at Springfield, Illinois....Indianapolis....Chicago.....& Davenport, Iowa.  Dew points were in the lower to middle 70s.

A hot upper ridge was dominating the eastern U.S.

With surface front moving southward & stalling & possible outflow boundary from the northeastern Indiana storms laying up over the area (with its MCV), storms likely fired on these triggers on the afternoon of June 26.

After the event, at 1:30 a.m. on June 27, the remnants of those storms were center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & Wheeling & Charleston, West Virginia with a few other lingering storms or showers in northwestern Ohio.

Meanwhile, a complex of storms was moving through far eastern Missouri & eastern Illinois & on the move east & southeastward.

Surface wind observations, surface pressure values all show that likely MCV & outflow boundary draped over part of the area by the afternoon of June 26.  Also, there was a weak surface cold front sinking south a bit before stalling.

Temperatures were hot at 90-96 with dew points in the 70s, likely supporting a high amounts of deep layer CAPE.

Storms appear to have fired with the MCV & on the outflow boundary & back-built in northeastern part of the viewing area.

There, torrential storm with wet microburst & hail risk was in place, while expanding cold pool with all of the storms forming on the outflow boundary & with MCV was developing in northwestern Ohio.

Storms then swept through Ohio with substantial wind damage reported over much of the state before the line collapsed from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

7 people were injured in the storms in Ohio.

Rainfall totals June 26:

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