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Lake Michigan pier briefly submerged during 'Great Lakes meteotsunami'

Apr 14, 2018 11:08AM ● By Editor

These photos of the Ludington North Breakwater were taken just 10 minutes apart by Ludington photographer Todd Reed on Friday, April 13.(Courtesy Photo | Todd and Brad Reed Photography)

By Brandon Champion of MLive.con - April 13, 2018 [email protected]

LUDINGTON, MI - Photos taken by a Michigan photographer captured the dramatic rise of Lake Michigan near Ludington.

MLive Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa reports that a quick rise in water level known as a seiche caused the lake to rise 13.9 inches in just 42 minutes around 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13.

Photos captured by Ludington-based photographer Todd Reed provide evidence of just how dramatic the phenomenon also known as a "Great Lakes meteotsunami" was.

The first photo taken around the time of the seiche shows the Ludington North Breakwater almost completely covered by water.

"The water was as high as (I) had seen since Nov. 10, 1975, the day the freighter Edmond Fitzgerald sank on Lake Superior. Water was also flooding the beach and the end of Ludington Avenue," Reed said in an email.

But it didn't last long. Returning to nearly the same spot less than 10 minutes later, Reed observed that not only was the entire breakwater above water, but the rocks lining the outside of it were highly visible.

This was at least the fourth seiche that the longtime West Michigan photographer had experienced on the Lake Michigan shoreline between Big and Little Sable Points.

Learn more about meteotsunamis on the Great Lakes