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Forecast calls for continued high water in Great Lakes

Waves crash over a breakwater at Michigan City, Ind. Lakes Superior and Erie reached record highs this year and Lakes Huron and Michigan have been near record highs. A rainy October halted the usual seasonal decline. It’s a remarkable turnaround, as the lakes were near record lows in 2013.
Waves crash over a breakwater at Michigan City, Ind. Lakes Superior and Erie reached record highs this year and Lakes Huron and Michigan have been near record highs. A rainy October halted the usual seasonal decline. It’s a remarkable turnaround, as the lakes were near record lows in 2013.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A new forecast says Great Lakes levels are likely to remain unusually high and may set additional records.

Storms over Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior caused beach erosion, flooding and damage to seawalls and roads.

Lake levels this summer neared the tops of or slightly covered many small Lake Michigan docks and jetties, threatening damage and creating boating hazards.

Some dock owners and harbor operators have been adding higher, outer walls or berms, and building owners in some lakeshore towns have been pumping out lake water seepage almost constantly to keep basements and crawl spaces dry.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Detroit on Monday released its outlook for the next six months.

Hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz says a wet October interrupted the usual fall drop-off of water levels.

Kompoltowicz says all five Great Lakes are expected to resume their seasonal decline. But they’ll remain well above normal and will be higher in January than they were at the beginning of this record-setting year.

He says Huron and Michigan are likely to set monthly records in February, while Superior will come close.

Kompoltowicz says a lengthy dry spell would be required to reverse the trend.

The NewsTribune contributed to this report.

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