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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Great Lakes

The first Welland Canal opened in 1829, allowing ships to travel between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and bypass the Niagara Falls.

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, the most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes Basin from November 7 through November 10, 1913. The storm was most powerful on November 9, overturning ships on four of the five Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron. In total 19 ships were destroyed and over 270 people lost their lives.

The Detroit News storm headlines, November 13, 1913.

The passenger ship S.S. Eastland capsized on July 24, 1915 while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed in the largest loss of life disaster from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

Fishing is a revered pastime on the Great Lakes, one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the world. The record for biggest fish caught goes to a 63.12 lb. trout caught on Lake Ontario in 2000.

There's enough water in Lake Superior (see below) to cover all of North and South America in one foot of water.

Lake Superior is so massive it holds enough water to cover the US is four feet of water.

Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes with an average depth of 62 feet and a deep point of 210. It would only take 2.7 years for Lake Erie to dry up if no water flowed into it.

Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake entirely in the USA.

The Great Lakes combined, with 4,530 miles of shore, have more shoreline than any of the other US coastlines. The East Coast has the most shoreline, but is just  2,165 miles long.

The Great Lakes have at least 6,000 shipwrecks with some estimates as high as 25,000.


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