Mackinaw Bridge closed, two freezing shipwreck survivors, and record cold top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service archives here are the events that happened on Nov. 18.
The wood schooner, two mast Milwaukee Belle, while carrying lumber in 1886, was dismasted by a southwest gale north of the Beaver Islands, and blown almost 40 miles and sank at Brevort, Mich., Straits of Mackinac in Lake Michigan. Her rigging and gear were salvaged, but the vessel was abandoned Nov. 30.
The wood schooner, two mast Alice Craig, was bound Bayfield for Siskiwit Bay in 1887, when she was driven ashore in a gale near Bark Point, Wisconsin shore in Lake Superior. She was later stripped and abandoned.
In 1900, a wood schooner reportedly sank in a heavy gale seven miles off Munising, Mich. in Lake Superior, but her crew was rescued by the tug Ward before the Lifesaving Service crew was able to get to her. No mention is given of her name.
Record high temperatures are set all across Lower Michigan in 1958, as a southerly flow of air pushes afternoon high temperatures to around 70 degrees. At Muskegon, the temperature hits a record 71 degrees for the second day in a row and Grand Rapids sees a record 70 degrees for the second day. Lansing observes a record 69 degrees on this day. The steel self-unloading bulk freighter Carl D. Bradley, in ballast, battled 30-foot waves and storm force winds of 65 mph, she rode up on a huge wave and broke in two, sinking quickly 12 miles southwest of Gull Island in Lake Michigan. The German motor vessel Christian Sartori was first on the scene, but was unable to find any of her crew. Extensive air-sea rescue operation by the Coast Guard yielded just two freezing survivors out of a crew of 35 on a raft 14 hours later. She was bound Buffington Harbor, Ill., for Calcite, Mich., and was the second largest vessel ever lost on the Lakes. Vessel owners and insurance companies claimed for years that she was simply overwhelmed by the storm, and didn’t break in two, but dives in the spring of 1997 confirmed that she had, thereby proving that it was hull failure rather than an act of God which killed her. Her homeport of Rogers City, Mich. was also the home of 33 of her crew. The hull was located in Sep. 1959 in 360 feet of water.
In 1959, there were two days of record lows in Flint with nine degrees on the seventeenth and 11 degrees on the eighteenth. In West Michigan both Grand Rapids and Muskegon see a record low of nine degrees and Lansing seven degrees on the seventeenth. Grand Rapids sets another record with 11 degrees on the eighteenth. The record cold extends to the Upper Peninsula as well with Sault Ste. Marie observing four degrees on the seventeenth. Sault Ste. Marie goes on to set another record on the eighteenth with six degrees.
High winds affected much of Michigan on this day in 1994. Gusts to 72 mph closed the Mackinac Bridge for one hour. Gusts to 59 mph at the Sault Ste. Marie municipal airport damaged a cinder-block aircraft hangar requiring the demolition of the hanger. From noon to 2:30 p.m. numerous reports of damage to roofs, trees and small structures were received from Upper Michigan, along with many reports of power outages. Structural and roof damage was reported at a large casino in Sault Ste. Marie. Gusts of 40 to 50 mph were widespread throughout the state. These high winds caused 1 million dollars in property damage.