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The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the Earth's surface, home to a fragile fishery, and delicate shoreline beaches and dunes. They are also central to northern Michigan tourism, economies and our way of life.

Water levels on 4 of 5 Great Lakes have now peaked says U.S. Army Corps

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Dan Wanschura
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Interlochen Public Radio
Water levels on Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario are all expected to decline, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lake Superior is expected to peak next month.

Water levels on the Great Lakes might finally start going down.

With the exception of Lake Superior, each of the Great Lakes have likely reached their peak water levels for the year, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Lakes Michigan and Huron set a new monthly high-water record for July at about 34 inches above average. That continues a trend, as those lakes have broken high-water marks every month this year. In fact, last month's water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron was the second highest month ever – only behind the all-time record set in October 1986.

“Looks like [water levels] peaked for Michigan and Huron and will very slowly go down with the fall seasonal decline,” says Mark Breederland, a field instructor with Michigan State University. “But we are definitely at extreme high water.”

Meanwhile, Lake Superior is expected to peak next month before its normal seasonal decline.

Water levels in all the Great Lakes continue to be very high. Scientists say increased rain and snow across the region has been contributing to the brimming levels.

Lauren Fry, a scientist with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says says flooding and erosion will continue up and down the Great Lakes. 

“We’ll continue to be at very high-water levels and so we will see continued impacts along the shoreline similar to what we saw last year,” Fry says.
 

With the fall storm season approaching, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says shoreline communities should brace for damaging impacts over the next few months.