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A shipwreck, damaged football field, downburst winds

Radar image 7PM 23 Aug 07
Radar image 7PM 23 Aug 07

A shipwreck, damaged football field, downburst winds and a wildfire 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 August 23.

Almanac 23 August 2014
Grand Rapids Weather Examiner

1907 - The wood side-wheel tug E.T. Carrington, sprang a leak during a gale and foundered 15 miles out of Duluth on Lake Superior while inbound for Duluth from Ashland. Her crew was rescued by the steamer Frederick B. Wells.

1968 - A severe thunderstorm produced a 58 mph wind gust 1.3 miles east of Negaunee in the midafternoon.

1976 - The Seney wildfire had a strong northwest wind to help it grow explosively and it made its largest run this day.

1998 - Strong downburst winds from a severe thunderstorm felled a large pine tree on a small camper in a National Forest Campground in Gogebic County in the late morning 6 miles southeast of Watersmeet causing $5000 in property damage. The occupant inside the camper was killed. A severe thunderstorm produced a tornado that just missed Menominee. 1.5 inch diameter hail (ping pong ball sized) fell in the Birch Creek area. As the storm moved out over the Bay of Green Bay, a funnel cloud was spotted east of Menominee. This travelled east and formed a waterspout that hit Door County, WI. The waterspout came ashore as a tornado near Egg Harbor and was 1/2 mile wide and leveled or damaged at least 25 homes and businesses in the area. A severe thunderstorm in Sault Ste Marie with gusts up to 60 mph caused several trees to be toppled across the city in the late afternoon. One tree fell against a house damaging the roof, a porch and some siding. Clio reported 1-inch hail that came with a severe thunderstorm at 6:50 pm.

2002 - Several inches of rain in less than three hours caused flash flooding in Kalamazoo, where two homes and two businesses sustained extensive damage. Waldo Stadium, on the campus of Western Michigan University, also had major flooding. At one point, three feet of standing water covered the entire football field. The flooding caused an estimated 200,000 dollars in damage.

2007 - Severe weather strikes Lower Michigan with large hail and damaging winds. Some of the worst damage is across Montcalm County where thousands of trees are downed by a tornado and downburst combination that produced estimated wind speeds up to 100 mph. A thunderstorm in Midland County moved east across the Thumb. This storm produced some large hail, and the first tornado of 2007 near Argyle in northwestern Sanilac County. At the same time this was occurring, a very fast moving squall line approached the lower half of Southeast Lower Michigan. Although the squall line became less organized, it still produced numerous reports of wind damage between M-59 and Interstate 94. Click here for a radar loop of the storms on this day. The attached slideshow has a few severe weather maps for the day.

2008 - Strong west winds up to 37 mph kicked up high waves during a fishing tournament in Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Superior in the morning. The high waves sank a 16-foot fishing boat claiming the life of a 42 year-old Laurium man. Two other fishermen from the boat were rescued as they struggled to stay afloat in the rough waters.

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