Great Lakes Near Record Water Levels Last Seen in the 1980s
Lakes Huron and Michigan rose nine inches last month to 581.57 feet. This took it very close to breaching lake water levels records last set in May 1986. The rest of the Great Lakes; Superior, Erie, Ontario and St. Clair are also near or at record levels last set in 1986.
The entire Great Lakes region has received 28% above its normal month-to-date May precipitation.
Great Lake’s water levels have been continually tracked since 1918. The famous Union Army General George Meade first established the water level process and measurements during his survey of Lake Huron in 1856. Residents along the southern shore of Saginaw Bay indicate that the water levels seen today mimic the levels of 1973 and 1986.
Huron Water Levels Still Rising
Forecasts by the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit show water levels continuing to rise through July. Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River, and Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River, were observed to be above average in May.
High water levels can result in beach erosion, loss of marshland habitat for nesting wild fowl and affect port and marina facilities and dock levels. Reports of docks being underwater in many marinas is common. The last time lake levels were at this level was in the 1980s.
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