Erosion

Above average precipitation is expected over the Great Lakes from December through February, according to NOAA.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan could see a lot of snow this winter according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which came out with its 2020 U.S. Winter Outlook on Thursday.


Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

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.


"Sunset Station" in Arcadia Township has been devestated by high waters from Lake Michigan pounding its shoreline.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Water levels in the Great Lakes are really high right now. Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie are all breaking records and creating all sorts of problems for communities on their shores.

Piles of debris sit on shore near the Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

As if shoreline erosion wasn’t enough, communities and property owners on Lake Michigan are now dealing with another problem due to record high water levels — trash. Up and down the lake, large amounts of it are washing up on shore.

A home in Manistee sits dangerously close to an eroding bluff in Manistee.
GARY LANGLEY, FAA CERTIFIED SUAS PILOT / INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO

Michigan is preparing for more damage that could come from even higher water levels.

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met with federal, state and local officials in Lansing for the first Michigan High Water Coordinating Summit.

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Lake Michigan’s water level is expected to reach a new record high for January, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The lake hasn’t been this high since 1986.

Ron Wilson's summer cottage is dangerously close to falling into Lake Michigan. Wilson wants to lower water levels on Lake Michigan by letting more water out of the Chicago River, and reversing the flow of Long Lac and the Ogoki River in Ontario, Canada.
Dan Wanschura

On a cold and windy afternoon in Manistee, Ron Wilson trudged through snow to check on his shuttered cottage.

 

Not much changed since he was last there — which is good — because just a few feet of land separate the beach house from Lake Michigan.

“We once had a deck out here,” says Wilson, pointing behind the house. “But the storms in mid-October just took out all the beach in front of us.” 


Today on Stateside, Great Lakes water levels are at record or near-record highs, leading to dramatic shoreline erosion and threatening lakeshore properties. Plus, the Detroit origins of the spiral cut ham, a holiday dinner staple. 

Gary Langley, FAA certified sUAS pilot / Interlochen Public Radio

Lakeshore property owners fighting erosion due to high water levels are getting some help from the state. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is expediting the permitting process for sandbag use. 


Jim Sorbie / Flickr

 

People who have homes on the sandy, eroding shores of Lake Michigan don’t have a lot of protections when it comes to insurance coverage. 

Regular homeowners insurance does not cover flooding or any land movement, including erosion of the land beneath a structure.

Banks that give loans to lakefront homes require flood insurance, which could possibly provide some erosion coverage.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers Alan Lulloff says erosion that happens after a storm could be covered.

Gary Langley / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, how rising water levels and shoreline erosion are threatening homeowners on the coast of Lake Michigan.

Plus, how businesses in Fishtown are already falling into the water.

Property owners along the Lake Michigan shoreline are worried about the rapid erosion caused by high water levels on the lake.
Gary Langley, FAA certified sUAS pilot / Interlochen Public Radio

As Lake Michigan water levels remain at a near record high, more and more shoreline is being eaten away everyday. Large trees are sliding down steep banks into the water, wooden staircases are being torn out and property owners are panicking. As the fall storm season approaches, some worry their homes will be next.