Mich. (AP) -- Rising water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are
keeping shoreline stabilization, dock and hoist companies in Michigan busy.
The Army Corps of
Engineers says water levels for the two lakes averaged 580 feet in December,
which is nearly two feet higher than the long-term average that's been
recorded for the lakes over the past century, the Traverse City Record-Eagle
water levels will have an overall increase of 4 to 6 inches this year.
Brandon Oaks owns
the Silver Lake area-based Pure Harbor Dock and Boat. He said the rising
levels means he constantly has work removing old docks and designing new
ones that will clear the water.
"We got a
tremendous amount of phone calls," said Oaks, who has been in business for
17 years. "We have to build these docks different every year because of
fluctuating water levels."
Water levels depend
on snow accumulation across the Great Lakes basin and ice on the lakes,
which can slow water evaporation, said Keith Kompoltowicz, the chief of
watershed hydrology for the Detroit district of the Army Corps of Engineers.
"Typically, when we
see larger snow pack across the Great Lakes that points to a larger seasonal
rise," Kompoltowicz said.
Matt Short, the
owner of Lakeshore Marine Construction, said he's seen an increase in the
number of shoreline stabilization jobs he's done along Lake Michigan. Though
he normally works on inland lakes, the lake's high water levels have caused
erosion, he said.
"It's tearing up
the people's shorelines," Short said. "Some of them look like cliffs, and
there are trees laying in the water and on beaches."