Sunday Story: Remembering a hailstorm

We should see some showers and storms today, with a disturbance helping kick those off. The rain chance is set at about 60%. Just keep in mind that any storm that develops could be strong.

I haven’t had much time to write lately, so I had to dig up an oldie for  you all today. As we approach the season of Fairs across the region, I thought I’d share a story I wrote about a hailstorm that wrecked havoc on the Cumberland County fair many years ago.

Incidentally, this is the first article I ever had published in the Fentress Courier, nearly two years ago. I can tell my style has changed since then, if only slightly (ha). I decided not to edit a single word.

A hail of a storm

When I saw a sign advertising the Fair, I recalled a conversation I recently had with a gentleman from Memphis. I was telling him about our big wind storm over the Memorial Day weekend and he was surprised. He didn’t think we ever had bad weather here! It didn’t take me long to convince him that we are certainly no strangers to rough weather on this plateau.

I will never forget a storm that we had when I was in the seventh grade. I was so excited for mom and dad to take me to the Fair in Crossville. We were all set to go when the phone started ringing.  It was my uncle. Crossville had been hit by a terrible hailstorm.

It was August 29, 1990 and it was the worst hailstorm Crossville had ever seen. Hail the size of bricks busted out car windshields and store windows all over town. Every light bulb at the Fair was busted out.

Pine trees on Highway 62 near Monterey were stripped of their needles. Many of them never recovered.

The same system caused severe weather in Illinois the day before. In fact, the only F-5 tornado ever recorded in the US for the month of August was reported that day in Plainfield, Illinois, along with huge hail stones.

Interestingly, just a few years later a hailstorm struck Fort Worth, Texas during their Fair. Before the storm struck, the electricity went out, which trapped people on the Ferris wheel. They had to sit on that ride in wind-driven baseball-sized hail and wait for it to pass! Fortunately, the Crossville hailstorm hit during the afternoon when few people were at the Fair.

We are certainly no strangers to rough weather here. Still, I’ll take our weather woes over most everyone else’s any day. It’s a small price to pay for living in such a beautiful place.

5-day outlook (9)

2 thoughts on “Sunday Story: Remembering a hailstorm

  1. I turned 10 years old the day before the hailstorm and remember it like it was yesterday. My little brother and I were at home alone when it hit. It is one storm that I know I will never forget. I also remember coming down by Baisleys sawmill by the fairgrounds and seeing the destruction of the rides. Hard to believe that 30 years have nearly passed.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time is flying by! I remember being so disappointed because I couldn’t go to the Fair that night (ha). I also remember the cold wind that blew through Rinnie as that storm moved through. Mom went through and closed all the windows in the house.


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