MADISON, Wis. (AP)
-- High water levels on some of the Great Lakes have been causing trouble
for some shoreline communities in recent years.
Lauren Fry is the
lead water levels forecaster with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in the
Detroit District office. She estimates water levels on Lake Superior will
remain about 4 inches above average over the next six months.
Water levels on
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are expected to reach 17 inches above average
over the next six months. Water levels were about 18 inches above average on
the lakes in the beginning of the month. It’s the highest for July since
1997, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control.
The increase in
water levels has caused beaches to erode and is threatening roads and
properties near the lakefronts, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
“High water level
impacts that people are experiencing now are more related to property,” said
Fry. “While erosion always occurs, it’s occurring closer to people’s
infrastructure, so the impacts are related to property damage.”
High water levels
also caused significant erosion about three years ago that affected
residents on Bark Point and crept up near the road that provides access Lake
Superior, said Beverly Steele, chairwoman of the Town of Clover.
Steele said a storm
damaged the road late last fall. The total cost to repair the road is
estimated to cost nearly $300,000.
“When we first had
the little erosion that was threatening the road, the old timers said,
‘Well, just let nature take its course because it always heals itself,’” she
said. “This time it didn’t heal itself.”
bluffs steeper and more prone to small-or medium-scale landslides, said Luke
Zoet, an assistant professor of geoscience with the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. “We’re seeing the general steepening of bluff all up and
down the coastline,” he said.
Zoet said the
university is using instruments called extensometers to gather data on the
movement of bluffs experiencing erosion.