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Lake Superior’s High Water Level Threatens Shoreline

Duluth, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice
Duluth, photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

DULUTH — Lake Superior’s water level is near a record high after an unusually wet summer and fall in Minnesota.

That’s leading to concerns about damage to its shoreline. The lake was about 603 feet (184 meters) above sea level in September, the highest point it’s reached since 1997.

The high water level has damaged docks and caused water to seep into nearby homes.

Missy Kropfreiter is a hydraulic engineer with the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She says the lake basin has been getting above average rainfall for the past 10 years.

Some property owners are asking officials to let out some of the lake’s water, but international regulations dictate outflow procedures.

Kropfreiter says six of the lake’s 16 gates are open and releasing water.

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