Norfolk, VA Thunderstorm, June 1826


After suffering for several days under excessive heat and drought, we were on Monday afternoon cheered with the appearance of a heavy cloud slowly rising in the west, and promising abundance of rain. About sunset this cloud had spread to all points of the horizon; the rain descended in copious showers, while the lightning flashed and the thunder pealed terrifically grand. This awful strife of the elements continued until after nine o'clock, when it ceased entirely; but in an hour after, faint glimmerings of lightning and distant sounds of thunder, presaged a renewal of it. Gradually the flashes became more vivid and expansive, and the peals more loud, until the heavens seemed wrapped in a continued sheet of fire, while the thunder burst forth in rapid and tremendous explosions that seemed to shake the earth to its very centre, each louder than a hundred pieces of ordinance discharged together. The rain poured down like a mountain cataract, and the rattling of the hail filled up the brief intervals between the appalling crashes of the thunder. In a word, the horrors of the scene exceed our power to describe them, as they do every precedent within our memory. We hear of but few casualties, however, from the terrible effects of the electric flood, and those, comparatively, of small account.

Wilmingtonian And Delaware Advertiser Delaware