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State News Roundup

Great Lakes water levels set June record highs


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, Tuesday announced that based on preliminary data, new record high monthly mean water levels were set on Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario last month.

The new record June levels are between three and four inches higher than the previous records for the month, which were set in 1986 on lakes Superior, St. Clair and Erie and in 2017 on Lake Ontario. The records for lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are the highest for any month dating back to 1918. Lake Michigan-Huron was less than one inch from its June record.

Additional record high water levels are possible on all the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair this summer.

“With another wet month across the Great Lakes basin, water levels continued to rise in June and have reached some of the highest levels in our recorded history, which dates back to 1918,” Keith Kompoltowicz, Detroit District chief of watershed hydrology, said in a July 9 press release. 

Wet weather continued in June, which allowed water supplies to the lakes to remain high. June was the third consecutive month with above-average precipitation across the Great Lake basin as a whole. This persistently wet weather also has allowed stream flows into the Great Lakes to remain well above average for this time of year, he said.

The Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion especially during storm events, according to the press release. Localized water levels are often impacted by winds and can be significantly higher during storms. Water levels and flow rates in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes also are high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding.




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