Shower of fish falls on Great Yarmouth

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The Independent Online

Never mind weather stories about the drought of '76 or the gales of '87, Fred Hodgkins, a retired ambulance driver in Great Yarmouth, has a tale about the day it rained fish.

Never mind weather stories about the drought of '76 or the gales of '87, Fred Hodgkins, a retired ambulance driver in Great Yarmouth, has a tale about the day it rained fish.

When Mr Hodgkins, 65, first heard the thunder claps over his terraced house on Alderson Road yesterday it seemed to be just a routine rainstorm, if a little heavy for the time of year.

Then he heard what sounded like hail stones drumming down.

"There were a couple of claps of thunder and the sky went really dark even though it was only about 11am," he said.

"At first I thought I might have something wrong with my eyes because the whole of my back yard seemed to be covered in little slivers of silver. When I looked again, I saw scores of tiny silver fish. I got my neighbours to have a look because I knew nobody would believe me. One of them had their garden shed covered in fish. It was quite extraordinary. I had never seen anything like it before in my life."

The small group of terraced houses half a mile from the North Sea was the epicentre of a rare, but not unique, phenomenon which can turn rain red with desert sand or deposit frogs in dry fields, according to meteorologists.

Andy Yeatman, from the Meteorological Office, said a small tornado building up under the thunder clouds out to sea was probably to blame.

"In this case the tornado gathered over the sea and the fish got sucked up into the clouds. They were obviously carried along in the cloud for some distance before the cloud burst and the fish fell with the rain."

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