Rising Water Levels Affect the Thumb

Since this past June of 2019, waters levels in Lake Huron have risen to 581.76 feet, a half-inch short of the all-time record high level. The lake raised half a foot from May to June. This is a foot above the level in June 2018, and 30 inches higher than the average level.

Locally, the boat launch at Wagener County Park has been closed and will remain closed until the park closes on October 15. There has been some damage to the Harbor Beach harbor, and several instances of emergency services rendered from both county and state responders due to the water rising onto the land.

State Natural Resources officials have expressed concern as the Huron County shoreline has been eroded, some beaches have vanished (temporarily) below the waves, while homes and yards on the lake have been flooded. Those swimming and boating are faced with hidden sunken objects, abnormally strong current and much higher waves than usual.

The rising lake levels were caused by the wettest spring in decades. The Great Lakes water levels always rise during the spring and then lower by autumn.

The elevated water levels cause much more energetic waves than usual, leading to destruction of property and buildings. In an effort to lessen the waves, the state Department of Natural Resources has begun a program to more strictly enforce no-wakes zones on the waters, and to better inform the public about these laws.

Lake Huron is part of the larger Great Lakes area of course. Each year each of the lakes reach a peak in July and August and then the water level decreases. This year, Lake Erie remains 3 inches above the highest average height for August since records have been kept. Lake Superior has had its highest average water level for August as well.

The Lakes’ outflow through the rivers they feed; Superior to the St. Marys River, Michigan-Huron to the St. Clair River, then onto the Detroit River, Erie to the Niagara River and Ontario in the St. Lawrence River have all been above average this August.

Featured image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harbor_Beach_MI_Harbor.jpg

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