30. The Freshwater Fury

Photographer: Chicago Daily News

Year: November 1913

Location: Great Lakes

Casualties: 235

The Great Lakes erupted with ocean-like force during November 1913 in an epic storm called The Freshwater Fury, The Big Blow, or The White Hurricane. Winds up to 90mph blasted 35-foot waves off the Midwestern waters, plunging 18 ships into the depths of the lakes, some of which have never been found to this day. The photo shows a wave crashing over a dwarfed onlooker. Trouble on the water was well matched by trouble on land, as huge amounts of snow cut power and telephone lines around Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. The overall damage was thorough and extremely expensive, making this the worst blizzard to hit the Great Lakes region.