Upper Portland Head, February 1847

This district was visited on Thursday, the 4th instant, with one of the most terrific hail and thunder storms ever experienced by the oldest inhabitants. During the afternoon it was unusually sultry, the sun occasionally appearing till about six o’clock, when the clouds began to unite, and from their appearance indicated an approaching storm; about a quarter past seven the wind blew rather fresh from the southward, accompanied by thunder and lightning; about a quarter of an hour after, an awful clap of thunder announced the descent of heavy rain, which began to pour down in torrents, immediately accompanied with hail – the elements at this juncture displayed an awfully, grand appearance, there being constant succession of flashes of lightning, and the storm passing over with great rapidity; the hailstones were equal in size to pullets’ eggs, and continued for about a quarter of an hour, concluding with heavy rain, which lasted a considerable time. This storm appears to have taken a breadth of about four miles in the neighbourhood of Sackville Reach, its limits easterly being at Mr. Kirwan’s steam engine. Great damage has been done in the locality – the Wesleyan Chapel has suffered severely by the windows being broken, which were completely exposed to its fury. Mr. James Doyle’s orchard and vineyard has been shivered, and the fruit, which composed a great variety, almost totally destroyed. The maize crops, which promised to be exceedingly abundant, are nearly all cut off. Messrs. Tuckerman and Hall, in conjunction with many others, are great sufferers. [SHRB.03]

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