100 Years after the Great Storm of 1913

November 7, 2013

NovemberGaleGrandHaven-2

NovemberGaleGrandHaven-2, photo by Rich Wyllis

100 years ago today the most devastating storm in Great Lakes history began. It raged across the Great Lakes from November 7-10, 1913. As NOAA’s commemorative website explains:

In November of 1913 the Great Lakes were struck by a massive storm system combining whiteout blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. The storm lasted for four days, during which the region endured 90 mile per hour winds and waves reaching 35 feet in height. With only basic technology available, shipping communication and weather prediction systems were not prepared for a storm of such devastating force. When the skies finally cleared, the Great Lakes had seen a dozen major shipwrecks, an estimated 250 lives lost, and more than $5 million in damages (the equivalent of more than $117 million today).

Nicknamed the “White Hurricane” and the ‘Freshwater Fury” the 1913 storm remains the most devastating natural disaster to ever strike the Great Lakes. One hundred years later, NOAA commemorates the Storm of 1913 not only for the pivotal role it plays in the history of the Great Lakes but also for its enduring influence. Modern systems of shipping communication, weather prediction, and storm preparedness have all been fundamentally shaped by the events of November 1913.

Head over to NOAA for more on the weather technology of 1913 and today and definitely check out more on the Freshwater Fury on Michigan in Pictures!

Check Rich’s photo out bigger and see more in his slideshow.

4 Responses to “100 Years after the Great Storm of 1913”


  1. Are there more details and info available about this photo?

  2. TroyMIch Says:

    Thank you for this very informative picture and article. Global Warming enthusiasts will not be so appreciative I am sure!

  3. Tracy Hoffman Freeman Says:

    My great grandma, Jenny Walker McNaughton lived in Pt. Sanilac at the time of the storm. She recounted that she lay in bed all night awake listening to the distress signals of all the boats and ships unable to make it to shore. Some of them did not make it through that fateful night.


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