Pat Shingleton: "Waterloo Mud and Icy Frogs..."
Baton Rouge, unfortunately, has experienced its share of flooding rain. Torrential rains on this date in 1815, created so much mud at Waterloo, that Napoleon delayed his attack on the British for six hours. It gave the British, with the help of Prussian reinforcements, the assistance they needed to defeat the French. During the retreat from Gettysburg, Pa, during the Civil War, storm-swollen streams stopped the pursuit of Confederate troops. In 1856, lightning struck St. Jean Church on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. Exploding gunpowder, stored in the basement, killed more than 4,000 villagers. On May 6, 1937, the dirigible Hindenburg burst into flames over Lakehurst, NJ; due to electrical flickering from a thundercloud, igniting a mixture of air and hydrogen. Another anniversary...On this date in 1882, Dubuque Iowa’s Monthly Weather Review noted that “frog-hail” was recorded following a thunderstorm. Residents reported that melting hailstones disclosed small living frogs while larger chunks of ice also contained living frogs. The ice chunks measured between one and seventeen inches in diameter, varying from an inch to the size of baseballs and the biggest chunk weighed nearly two pounds. The Monthly Weather Review believed that the objects may not have been legitimate hailstones but a cluster of larger stones that melted together. In Pontiac, Canada, in 1864, falling ice between an inch and two inches contained small frogs and in a town that no longer exists, Bovington, Mississippi, a six-by-eight inch gopher turtle fell from a thunderstorm, entirely encased in ice.