Local officials are preparing for the potential for Spring floods, high Lake Michigan levels, and shoreline erosion. Some highlights from recent meetings include the following:

Shoreline Erosion:

  • Michigan experienced its wettest year in 2019, the wettest three-year period, and the wettest five-year period. (The amount of annual rainfall over the past five years was about 30” above average.)

  • One result is that Lake Michigan levels have increased by about five and one-half feet over the past seven years. 2019 Lake levels were the second highest recorded – slightly below the previous record established in 1986.

  • Significant lakeshore erosion is expected to continue. It was noted that lakeshore erosion does not qualify for FEMA assistance or Corp of Engineers assistance. Also, there is no clear authority provided for who is responsible to remove the debris (i.e., damaged stairs, collapsed house material, etc.) from the shoreline.

  • Lake Michigan water levels are not dropping as much as normal this winter.

  • Lake Michigan water levels are expected to set new records in 2020 – four to six inches above the previous 1986 record levels.