A tornado, freezing temperatures, and shipwrecks 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 October 5.
1889 – The wood bulk freighter Bessemer while carrying iron ore, she and consort Schuylkill were struck by a rapidly-rising gale on Lake Superior, and ran for the North end of the Portage Ship Canal when it became apparent that the Bessemer was going to sink. The two went onto a reef at the mouth of the canal, collided and broke up quickly. Crew was able to jump onto the breakwater. Her remains partly blocked the canal until cleared by dynamiting the next fall.
1891 -The wood schooner, 3-mast William Young, while carrying 600 tons of coal, was bound for Racine in tow of the propeller Nashua when struck by disaster. Caught in a storm, the vessel broke her towline and began to sink. Her crew was able to rescue the vessels sails and rigging and escape in her boat before the Young went to the bottom at Straits of Mackinac, east of Mackinaw Bridge site in Lake Huron. The Nashua had lost the schooner Thomas Parsons earlier in the same trip. The wreck was found in August, 2002, during a search/recovery effort under the Mackinaw Bridge, and identified by her official number, which was still visible on her main beam. She lies in 117 feet of water.
1900 – Record highs were set three days in a row of 88° on the 4th, 5th and 6th in Saginaw. It also ties with the highest temperature of the month.
1905 – The wood schooner, 2-mast Northwest stranded in a gale and broke up east of Moran Bay in the Straits of Mackinac in Lake Huron.
1997 – An F1 tornado touched down 1 mile west of Garden Corners in Delta County in the early afternoon. It was on the ground 0.1 mile with a damage width of 50 yards for 5 minutes and left pine trees 15-20 inches in diameter uprooted. A camp suffered structural damage to a small building with $3,000 worth of property damage. An earlier severe thunderstorm had wind gusts up to 115 mph that started at Rock in the late morning and ended 3 miles east southeast of Garden Corners. Property damage with the wind was $300,000 with $2.3 million in crop damage. 8 to 12 inch diameter trees downed at Felch in the late morning. 20 trees averaging 16 inches in diameter were uprooted 1 mile north of Arnold. 1 inch hail (quarter sized) damaged several homes and vehicle in the city of Manistique causing $100,000 in damage. The hail started in Cooks and ended in Gulliver. A bow echo moved rapidly east through Delta and Schoolcraft Counties producing a series of damaging microbursts. The damaging winds started around Rock and proceeded east in a 12 mile wide swath that included Rapid River, Maplewood, and Garden Corners in Delta County; and Cooks, Thompson, Indian Lake, Manistique and Gulliver in Schoolcraft County. Several thousand trees were downed by the winds, which were estimated to be in excess of 100 miles an hour. 600 buildings sustained wind and hail damage along with numerous vehicles. The most severe property damage locations included Maplewood, Thompson, 7 miles northeast of Manistique and 4 miles west of Gulliver. In Maplewood, a mobile home had its roof blown off and foundation shifted. Two sections of the Hiawatha National Forest suffered extensive tree damage. Those areas were along Delta County Road 509 between Rapid River and Haymeadow Falls (8 N of Rapid River) and east of Indian Lake north of Manistique in Schoolcraft County where 18 areas of damage were located. The U. S. Forest Service estimated 9000 acres of forest very seriously damaged in Delta County with 30 million board feet of timber down and a net loss of $2.25 million. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources suffered 500 acres of tree loss in Schoolcraft County between Cooks and Thompson with a net loss of $500 thousand. Corporate owned forest land also suffered over 200 acres of tree loss valued at $113 thousand between Cooks and Wiggins Point on the Garden Peninsula and near Gulliver. In Thompson, several trees, mostly 8-16 inch diameter pines, were snapped off between 6 and 12 feet above the ground. Three vehicles and several hundred structures sustained wind and/or hail damage. Northeast of Manistique, a roof was blown off a large metal garage and metal barn and a 30 inch diameter pine tree fell puncturing a roof on a house. Four miles west of Gulliver, a garage was destroyed by high winds. Other damage included a pole garage one mile east of Rock.
2004 – A frigid morning starts this day with record cold temperatures. New records include Grand Rapids with 29°, Muskegon 28°, Flint 25°, and Marquette 25°.
2005 – One year later, balmy weather prevails across Lower Michigan, especially along the coast of Lake Michigan, where the low temperature for the day at Muskegon is a record warm 70°, followed by a high of 80°. Other record warm lows include Grand Rapids with 64°, Lansing 64°, Alpena 65°, Houghton Lake 63°, Sault Ste. Marie 65°. These are record warm lows for the month of October at Muskegon, Alpena, and Sault Ste. Marie. The record for Grand Rapids was broken in 2013 when the low only dipped to 65°.
2005 – One home in the Breitung Township was totally destroyed by a lightning-strike induced fire. Another home on North Evergreen Drive sustained major damage when lightning struck a nearby pine tree. $140,000 in property damage was caused by the lightning. A six-inch poplar tree and an eight-inch diameter evergreen tree were downed along Highway US-2 in Crystal Falls and six to eight-inch tree branches broke and fell on power lines 3 miles west of Crystal Falls in the mid afternoon.