November 10-11, 1998 wind storm

One of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Great Lakes crossed the region on the 10th and 11th. The storm originated over the Central Plains and lifted across western portions of Lake Superior. South to southeast winds increased steadily during the morning of the 10th and by late morning wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph were common over areas away from Lake Huron. Along the Lake Huron shoreline...winds were gusting to 60 to 70 mph with a peak gust of 95 mph reported on Mackinac Island. The wind shifted to the southwest during the afternoon...with the strongest winds generally developing along the Lake Michigan shoreline. During the afternoon and evening of the 10th wind gusts of 70 to 80 mph were common along the Lake Michigan shoreline...with 50 to 60 mph gusts across the rest of the region. Similar winds persisted into the morning of the 11th and then began to diminish during the afternoon.

A large number of trees were uprooted or snapped off with many branches also torn off. Many of the trees and branches fell on power lines resulting in widespread power outages regionwide. Many roads were also blocked by falling trees and several accidents were reported as cars collided with debris on the roadways. Several homes and cars received damage from falling trees and branches. The strong winds generated 15 to 20 foot waves on Lake Michigan. Most ships took shelter with the approach of the storm and rode out the storm in protected waters.

In Frankfort...located on the Lake Michigan shoreline of Benzie county...80 to 90 mph wind gusts destroyed a hangar at the City-County airport and damaged 6 private planes. Damage to the hangar was estimated at around $500,000 dollars. In Lake City the roof was blown off a hardware store onto an adjoining bank. The strong winds on Mackinac Island toppled several trees onto a condominium.


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