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South Haven – Property owners and local governments are assessing the damage from a day of relentless waves and high winds along Lake Michigan in western and northern Michigan.

The National Weather Service says wind speed exceeded 50 mph Wednesday up and down the coast. Waves crashed into piers and lighthouses, drawing spectators with cameras to see the spectacle.

Tom Durant, a 76-year-old in South Haven, calls it a “once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Near Grand Haven, homeowner Paul Griffeth says he’s lost at least 80 feet of beach due to high water and rough weather. In Manistee, the Coast Guard station was cut off due to flooded roads. Karen Hudson, who has a condo near the water, says the lake is “angry.”

Paul Swidorski, who works for an excavation company, says the amount of work this year is “off the charts” as property owners seek help to protect homes.

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