Great Lakes Water Levels to Hit 20 Year High

January 20, 2015

By Marissa Gawel

Great Lakes water levels are predicted to rise nine inches above average this summer. Lakes will be more than two feet higher than the record low experienced in January 2013. Tom O’Brien is with the US Army Corps of Engineers Lake Michigan Area. He says higher water levels allow commercial vessels to carry heavier cargo, and recreational boats to move around more easily. But he says they don’t help everyone.

“When you’re coming up two feet in water levels with a beach that’s on a one to twenty slope, you know, you’re certainly losing a lot of land out there, probably a hundred feet or more.”

O’Brien says he’s already heard from many property owners about waves and erosion causing damage to their homes. He says last year’s polar vortex is partially responsible for the rising water levels.