Waves Bury 50′ Ludington Lighthouse in November Windstorm
Incredible slow-motion video shows just how big the surge of Lake Michigan gets as high winds create waves that nearly overwhelm the Ludington lighthouse.
The Ludington lighthouse has stood at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River at Lake Michigan since 1871. The structure is 57' tall and was almost completely eclipsed by waves ramping up the pier and climbing the sides, completely drenching the building in an attempt to topple it into Lake Michigan. On Sunday, November 1, sustained wind speeds were just shy of 20 mph for most of the day, with gusts in the mid 30s, according to National Weather Service observations.
User timbuckyball shared this incredible slow motion video on his YouTube channel. Shot at 120 frames per second, it is nearly five times slower than the 24 frames per second of film/video that the human eye is accustomed to. The awesome power of nature is magnified as you watch. Even the large swell of the lake hides the walkway to the lighthouse as the waves slam into the structure, threatening to topple the nearly 150 year old building. There's a reason it has lasted so long, though. The tower, like the bow of a ship is designed to break waves.
It was November 10, 1975 when the fateful gales of November came early, with hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald and gave Gordon Lightfoot a career-defining hit record in 1976. Watch, from a safe, dry distance, this video of the forces of nature at work on Lake Michigan.