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Back in 1968, a surprise thunder snow hit Rowan County

SALISBURY — Harold Poole has a good memory, even for things that happened almost 50 years ago.

He particularly remembers Nov. 11, 1968, when Rowan County experienced probably its heaviest early snowfall ever. That night, a storm swept through the county, dumping 5 inches of snow.

The Salisbury Evening Post described it as “a freakish snowstorm.” Poole remembers it because he was a young man then who just that year had returned to his native Salisbury after several years of going to school and living in Florida.

So a sizable snow in early November caught Poole’s attention.

The 5-inch accumulation and some of the winds with it caused heavy damage when trees and limbs dropped onto power lines. The start of school was delayed in Salisbury, and classes were canceled in Rowan County schools.

The newspaper said it was the heaviest early snowstorm in its records.

“It followed by only two days a fairly stout Saturday night snow (on Nov. 9),” the newspaper account said. “The storm could be described as a freak because it was accompanied at times by a thunderstorm with sheet lightning. Few, if any, could lay claim to having seen a snow thunderstorm before.”

It definitely stuck with Poole.

— Mark Wineka

 

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