Monroe looking at options to combat Lake Erie street flooding

Monroe News

Monroe – The city of Monroe is reviewing potential solutions to help alleviate flooding from Lake Erie onto its streets.

Starting in the spring, high winds in Monroe have raised the lake’s elevation several feet higher than normal on multiple occasions, according to Patrick Lewis, the city’s director of engineering and public safety.

Lakes Erie and Ontario in June reached their highest points since record keeping began in 1918, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. Corps hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz said three months of abnormally wet weather have kept stream flows into the Great Lakes well above average.

Lewis noted that street flooding has been limited due to still backwaters from River Raisin and Plum Creek Bay. Though he said the city is lucky because wave action could have caused significant damage to homes and structures along the shoreline.

Estral Beach firefighters Courtney Millar, Eric Bruley, and Chase Baldwin kayak in floodwaters in the south end of Estral Beach May 8, in Berlin Township, Michigan, checking for evacuations.

Some residents, meanwhile, are still experiencing flooding.

“The standing water elevation of the lake is at present higher than a number of roadway catch basin rims, resulting in constant standing water,” Lewis told the Monroe News. “This is expected to be the case for at least the next few months, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

Parts of Interstate 75 that run through the city are seeing flooding and street closures, Lewis said.

Lewis said engineering staff will work to review potential long-term options within the next few months. He said the city’s highest lake levels are expected to last through the end of the year.