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Floating ice cake, tornadoes and a snowstorm

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Floating ice cake, tornadoes and a snowstorm top the list of Michigan weather events on this day in history. From the National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center (SPC) archives here are the weather events that happened on April 9.

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1909 - The wood, bulk freight Eber Ward, while carrying corn, struck a growler or a floating ice cake and sank in less than 10 minutes just west of the south pier of Mackinac Bridge in the Straits of Mackinac in Lake Michigan. The survivors were picked up by the steamer Bennington. 5 crew members of 16 perished.

1969 - A brief tornado damaged a house near Loomis in Isabella County.

1973 - A snowstorm dumps 3 to 8 inches of snow across much of Lower Michigan. Record snowfall for the date includes the 6.5 inches at Muskegon, 5.2 inches at Lansing and 4.4 inches at Grand Rapids.

1979 - 7.8 inches of snow fell in Delaware, MI which brought the seasonal snowfall up to a record of 390.4 inches; the heaviest recorded in the U.P.

2001 - Ann Arbor, Manchester, Saline and Belleville had reports of golfball size hail during the morning hours. Other areas in Metro Detroit reported 2-3 inch diameter hail.

2008 – An EF1 tornado hit from near Plainwell in Allegan County to Doster in Barry County at 1:40 a.m. It did significant damage to a horse barn, lifted a trailer adjacent to the barn, damaged gravel yard equipment, lofted a tank, and uprooted numerous large trees. Read more about this tornado here: Tornado damages homes and cars, knocks down trees in Allegan and Barry counties. The slideshow on the top has a few severe weather maps for the day. Click this link for a radar loop of the storms on this day.

As this same storm tracked toward the northeast it dropped heavy snow over portions of south central Upper Michigan. Six inches of snow fell in a 12-hour period at Rock. An observer in Hermansville reported five inches of snow in 12 hours. Observers in Hardwood and Norway measured seven inches of heavy snow in 12 hours while eight inches accumulated in Iron Mountain. The snow forced the cancellation of schools in the Norway and Iron Mountain districts as well as North Dickinson and Pine Mountain Christian in Breitung Township.

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