Caught in the Mysterious Storm of Satan.
June 11, 2018
No other towns nearby had even had a storm or a heat wave. One old-timer said, “It was an act of God.”
If you drive out of Dallas County, Texas, and make your way over rambling farm-to-market roads, going in a southwesterly direction, you might get to Granbury, a picturesque village, or Glen Rose, home of the famous dinosaur tracks, or you might find your way to Kopperl in Bosque County.
Kopperl is a tiny town, and the eerie and frightening event that happened there on June 14/15, 1960 is unbelievable. It is like Kopperl existed in a purgatorial time warp.
I spent my high school years in south Dallas County, and we teenagers got around. We drove to Ellis and Tarrant County to circle the Dairy Queens in other small towns and check out the sights. I don’t remember anyone ever reporting this strange event to me. It had the ability to be an urban legend—the type of thing teenagers love to talk about. It did happen. It was hellish.
On the night of June 14, a strange weather phenomenon occurred—that is the best guess that meteorologists can come up with to explain it. A heat burst caused by a collapsing thunderstorm. It started out as a pleasant evening, with mild, cool breezes wafting over Kopperl from nearby Lake Whitney. Before you could say Jack Robinson, shortly after midnight, the gentle breezes turned into a dangerous storm. Dark clouds filled the sky and lightning and thunder took on a frightening appearance. The pyrotechnics raining down from the sky became bizarre in their wickedness. Crackling noises like no one had ever heard filled the atmosphere.
This was followed by hurricane-force winds of 80 mph and up that ravaged the landscape. Some people were so frightened that they loaded up their trucks and drove clean out of town. Some took to the cellar. In one cellar everyone crowded in like sardines—a whole neighborhood. They were the lucky ones because the temperature in tiny Kopperl shot up from 70 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It stayed that temperature for four long hours, roasting ears of corn in the fields. Tall grasses turned into ready-to-harvest hay, and the cotton bolls were burned to a crisp. One farmer reported that 140 acres of his cotton were burned to a state of crispiness.
Those that remained in the town had to use their American ingenuity. They wrapped themselves and their children in wet bed sheets. The air was so hot that people could not breathe.
When the heat finally lifted, the townspeople got in touch with friends and family members in nearby towns. They were astounded to learn that the storm had only occurred in Kopperl. No other towns nearby had even had a storm or a heat wave. It was a unique event. One old-timer said, “It was an act of God.”
To many, it was forever remembered as Satan’s Storm.
Sara Marie Hogg is the author of It Rises from the Pee Dee. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.