Rising Great Lakes Erode Shorelines, Create Uncertaintly
DULUTH (AP) — Rapidly rising water levels in the Great Lakes are damaging shorelines and creating uncertainty for lakeshore residents.
The city of Duluth has dealt with three major storms on Lake Superior in less than two years, with the latest hitting last October. Duluth's construction project supervisor, Mike LeBeau, says high water levels are making the storms even more destructive. Duluth officials estimate total damage from the three storms at nearly $30 million.
Around the Great Lakes, beaches have disappeared, docks are submerged and lakeshore is eroding. Lake levels began rising rapidly in 2014. This summer, Lakes Erie and Ontario reached their highest levels ever recorded — thanks to months of abnormally wet weather — and Lake Superior has set new monthly records.
But the higher lake levels are a boon for the shipping industry, which was complaining about record low water levels only six years ago. Deeper water allows ships to carry more cargo.