Friday, Sep 21, 2018
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Monday Memories

Fish falling from the heavens


Truck drivers for Miller & Schaefer Co., wholesale grocers in downtown Toledo, arrived back to work with some 18 minnows on the tarpaulin top of their truck. They said the tiny fish were what remained of scores which fell during a rain shower when their truck parked at Woodville and Walbridge Roads, several miles from Maumee Bay.

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Toledoans are accustomed to all sorts of weather events. Rain, snow, drought, hot, cold — depending upon the time of year, those conditions can all happen within a week.

But minnows falling from the sky?

According to a report in the June 7, 1947, edition of The Blade, that’s exactly what happened in Toledo. Irwin Nolte and Lowell Overmeyer, truck drivers for Miller & Schaefer Co. grocers, returned to work at 1 p.m. June 6 to find 18 minnows on the tarpaulin top of their truck. This Blade archive photo from 1947 shows unidentified Miller & Schaefer Co. drivers examining the minnows on top of their truck.

Miller & Schaefer was on Water Street, but the truck was parked at Woodville and Walbridge Roads in East Toledo, several miles away from Maumee Bay.

The Blade’s report included information from Lou Klewer, who was described as the paper’s “expert on all things piscatorial,” about the remarkably not uncommon phenomenon of “small fish being drawn up in a waterspout and subsequently dropped from the skies.” According to the Complete Weather Resource, “a tornadic waterspout is merely a tornado that forms over land and travels over the water.”

There have also been instances of small animals and organic materials being swept up by powerful updrafts.

So, really, minnows falling from the skies? Just another day in Toledo weather.

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