Remnants of hurricane Charlie (peak maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, Category 1), which passed right over New Orleans, passed right over our southeastern Illinois counties. It remained a tropical depression until it reached east-central Illinois.
The system weakened, but hung around the area until September 8 with spokes of scattered showers & t’storms. A surface cold front then swept it to the northeast. Up to 4″ of rainfall was measured in the Tri-State.
However, the combination of the tropical remnants & a cold front produced a likely EF1 tornado at McLeansboro, Illinois September 8. Many trees were damaged & even a few uprooted, while some homes received roof damage in a path with a width of up to 1/4 mile.
Another tornado was produced east & northeast of Baltimore, Maryland with quite a bit of damage to trees, power poles & homes. Described by eyewitnesses as a “violent twister” the tornado blew out many windows, including a large plate glass window valued at $3,500 (1948 dollars) into a highway. There was also considerable damage done by flooding there.
This followed a tropical storm landfall July 9 near Mobile, Alabama. That system also brought rainfall to the Tri-State.
On a side note, Category 4 Hurricane Easy hit Florida September 21, 1948. It was one of the first hurricanes to be seen on then primitive radar. It made two landfalls: on the keys & peninsula.
The 1940s were very active for hurricanes & Hurricane Florida was the third major one of the 1948 Atlantic season.
It was the most intense hurricane to strike Florida since the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 & the most intense one to hit Key West since the Great 1919 Florida Keys Hurricane.