The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 29, 2012

History shows big October storms


Late-October/early-November super storms are not unusual in the eastern United States, and at least 25 of these killer storms have raged across the Great Lakes since 1847.

Often called “Big Blows,” these storms occur when two storm tracks converge over the Great Lakes to create the November gale or witch. Waves of up to 50 feet on the Great Lakes have been reported during these events.

A November 1975 gale claimed the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior. But it is the Big Blow of 1913 that is recalled as the most destructive in terms of lives and property on the Great Lakes.

The storm moved down from Lake Superior beginning Nov. 6 and hammered the Great Lakes through Nov. 11. By then, snow drifts of up to 6 feet stood in Cleveland, which was cut off from the outside world.

The morning of Nov. 9, 1913, the temperature in Ashtabula fell to 27 degrees and the rain turned to a “heavy, sticky snow.” The gusts and heavy snow toppled telephone and telegraph lines all along the railroad and electric trolley lines that connected the city to the outside world.

“At noon (Nov. 10) it was possible to get through to Madison, but beyond there the situation is said to be hopeless,” noted the Ashtabula Beacon Record.

On the Nickel Plate Railroad line between Painesville and Cleveland, only 25 communications poles remained standing. In one section of the utility lines east of Ashtabula, 25 telephone poles were broken off.

At Ashtabula Harbor, a rare phenomenon occurred as the strong seas forced the river to flow backward. Within two minutes, the river rose as many feet.

“... and the seas in the river, up as far as the bridge, became so high that all small harbor craft, including the fish launch Hazel H., were insecure at their regular moorings and had to be moved up the river above the bridge” the newspaper reported.

Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"