These pisctures of the Ludington North Breakwater were taken just 10 minutes apart by Ludington photographer Todd Reed, after 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.
A quick rise in water levels occurred on Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline at 12:30 p.m. on April 13, 2018. This quick rise is called a seiche or a “Great Lakes meteotsunami.” The water rose 13.9 inches in just 42 minutes near Ludington.
“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.”
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.
The seiche was also reported at Manistee. The National Weather Service at Gaylord reported: “Possible seiche event with rapid rise and fall of water on the Manistee River. Several docks were damaged. Flooding was reported on the riverwalk.”
There was a strong thunderstorm moving through at the time. Winds gusted to 40 mph during the thunderstorm. Half inch diameter hail also fell during the thunderstorm.