Has There Ever Been A Powerful Tsunami On Lake Michigan?
High winds will move through lower Michigan again, like they always do this time of year. It's always a good reminder to keep an eye on small pets and secure patio & deck furniture. It's one thing to let all of your leaves blow around the neighborhood, but another to cause damage to your own or someone else's house when winds will be 40 miles per hour or more--watch for tree limbs.
Just last month, mlive reported waves as high as 19 feet on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. Strange to think that's even a possibility -- it's not like we live on the Gulf Coast, but winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour from Grand Rapids to Flint, MI will create big waves again.
Has There Ever Been A Tsunami On The Great Lakes in Michigan?
The answer is a surprising, yes. Tsunamis are known as Meteotsunamis in our neck of the woods. Instead of being caused by an earthquake, these are cause by intense storms on the Great Lakes. Think of it as immense wind and pressure displacing water from above, instead a sudden shift of Earth's tectonic plates, below water.
The Detroit Free Press reported a few major incidents from as far back as 1929.
- Grand Haven, Michigan July 4, 1929 -- 10 people were pulled from the beach into Lake Michigan and drowned. It was suspected to be a 20-foot wave.
- Seven fishermen were killed from a 10-foot meteotsunami off a pier in Chicago along Lake Michigan in June 1954.
- Then, as recently as 2003, in Berrien County another wave near Sawyer killed seven people as storms blew through the area. Wind speeds were clocked around 50mph, there.
Next time you think storms are brewing on the beaches of any of our beautiful Great Lakes -- stay aware so you're ready to run.