Water levels in the Great Lakes are likely to remain unusually high and may set additional records in 2020, resulting in more coastal erosion and flooding, according to a new forecast released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A rainy September and a wet October have interrupted the usual fall decline of water levels, said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.
Kompoltowicz said 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 said Huron and Michigan are likely to set monthly records in February, while Superior will come close.
Kompoltowicz said a lengthy dry spell would be required to reverse the trend.
Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario set new record high water levels over the summer, with lakes Michigan and Huron an inch (2.5 cm) or less off their 100-year highs. In July, lakes Erie and Ontario broke their monthly records by more than 4 inches (10 cm).
Storms over Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior caused beach erosion, flooding and damage to seawalls and roads.
With files from The Associated Press