Army Corps warns of another rise in Great Lakes levels after record year

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Water levels on all of the Great Lakes are higher this month than they started in 2019, the year record levels were set on the waterways, the Army Corps of Engineers announced this week.

The Corps warned that those who were impacted by the higher lake and waterway levels to be prepared for another rise in levels with the six-month forecast showing lakes well above average.

"It is likely that water levels on lakes Michigan and Huron will set new monthly mean record high levels over the next couple of months," said John Allis, chief of the Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office in the Detroit office. "This sets the stage for coastal impacts and damages in 2020 similar to, or worse than, what was experienced last year.”

Bill Thorson, 76, of Bangor Township said the weeds behind his house were not covered by the waters of Saginaw Bay in 2018.

Officials predict that unlike last year, lakes Michigan and Huron will reach record highs this year.

Water levels on lakes Erie and Superior had set records for four months straight going into the fall. Lake St. Clair also set all-time highs for several consecutive months.

Increased wet conditions across the Great Lakes basin have continued to prompt the rising lake levels and with warmer-than-average temperatures last December, there was greater runoff due to snow pack melting on Lake Superior, Corps officials said.

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