When will high-water cycle reverse itself?

The latest figures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pegged Lake Huron at 13.4 inches higher than it was at this time last year. What that means is that, in April, Lake Huron was three inches higher than the previous record-high, set in 1986.

And, according to an agency spokesperson, “all of the lakes are either in their period of seasonal rise or are reaching their peak, as we continue into the late spring and summer.”

We all know those high water levels, and the erosion that those levels cause to the shore, are taking a toll.

In an interesting news release this month, the County Road Association of Michigan estimated current damages done to the county road infrastructure from high water at $37.4 million through April. The figure only represents damage to county roads and will only continue to rise through the rest of the year.

As one tabulates the financial impact caused from the water, keep in mind that the County Road Association’s estimate is but just one segment of the economic chaos that is being created. Travel along the region’s shoreline and you will quickly see examples of erosion damage created by the water everywhere.

The good news is that we all understand Great Lakes water levels are cyclical.

We wonder, though: How much of a beating can our shoreline sustain until the cycle starts to reverse itself?

— The Alpena News


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