Great lake boats, a good video

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ArlyA

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We live on the south shore of Lake Superior and enjoy the work boats and have friends who work on them etc, etc. In fact I love most machines like these working boats. Here is a nice video a fellow made of shipping on the St Marys and along north shore of Lake Michigan. We call that lake "the southern, shallow pond". :D Maybe some people here like this stuff?

Shipping on the Great Lakes... A Bird's Eye View, Summer 215, Part 1 - YouTube
 
   #2  

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One of the ships featured in the video,"the Roger Blough" ran aground in lake Superior not far from entering the St. Marys about a year ago.

Dan
 
  
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More worthless boat info. The star like insignia painted on the bow or near the stern of boats, are thruster warnings for small crafts. Most lake boast have these and generally are power by a 5000hp engine which spins a 8ft prop mounted in a tube that passes through the boat. These allow for maneuvering without moving forward. In the docking portions in this video, you can see them in use.
 
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You shoulda posted this on Oreboats by Net.
 
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Interesting to an Okie landlubber. At first, I thought they were all running without cargo, until I figured out they were carrying something like ore, or limestone, fertilizer or some such.
 
  
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Most of there cargo would be coal, limestone and pellets. The white cargo they are loading in this video is crushed limestone. Iron Pellets is what they make steel from and a high percent of our steel would pass through the Soo locks which is very near where this fellow made his video. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers( Soo Cameras)

The salts would most likely be hauling grain out, but they carry many other bulk products as well. I'm not sure of the percentages of whatever there cargo's might be.

I should add that several articulating barge/tugs boats were also seen on it. They look a tad different than most of the boats.
 
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Cool video, thanks for sharing.
 
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We fish the St.Lawrence River at night for walleyes;right along the shipping channel and border with Canada.We see ships every day;what's scary is when the ships are coming "at" you there is no noise at all;the engine sound is behind the vessel.We have had a couple close calls when no one is paying attention.
 
  
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It is a bit hard to see weather they there running in ballast (that's flooded tanks) or with freight. Lake Superior's water is quite high right now and I believe the lower lakes are up as well. When the water is deep, the boats operate at high, or maximum capacity and ride very low, waves seems to wash into the bow anchor ports. But when the lake is lower, they they run with less cargo and less draft. If you see ft numbers painted to the bow or stern, these numbers indicate the depth to the boats keel.

Here is a old, yet good video of Duluth MN entry. Do note, as the boats are coming into harbor, most do not have cargo and are dumping there ballast as they enter so they'll be running quite high at this point. As they leave they should be running much, much lower. At 27 minutes into this video, a boat is seen striking the shore wall.

A Midsummer Laker Dream: 212 Duluth Ship Traffic - YouTube

Duluth is the most inland harbor on earth, that see's salt boats. That means ships that ply the oceans. We used to reside there.

Interesting to an Okie landlubber. At first, I thought they were all running without cargo, until I figured out they were carrying something like ore, or limestone, fertilizer or some such.
 
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Great Lakes... No salt and shark free!

We live pretty close to Lake Michigan. I love taking people there who have never experienced the great lakes. They typically have no concept that you can't see across these little inland lakes!
 
  
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OK, you guys might like this one. This is a the brand new CSL Whitefish bay upbound in the St Claire river when she nearly collided with a fishing boat. I learned later that there engine wasn't operable so they could not exit the area when the Whitefish was bearing down on them. In another "video" that is all audio, the captain calls the Coast guard to report the fishing boat being washed over, men in the water and a smoke buoy was deployed.

Whitefish Bay Maiden Voyage Upbound St Clair River - Port Huron by Paul Murray - YouTube

The Whitefish bay is a Trillion class and the Canada Steam Ship line has purchased three (or so) of these high efficiency, clean operating boats. They are not very large at 750ft in length.
 
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Great vid. I feel lucky to be from, and living in, Michigan... Definitely a beautiful state. We get to enjoy the best of all 4 seasons, practically no natural disasters to speak of, and watersports and ship-watching to your hearts content.

Spent my Summers as a kid on lake Huron, and now frequent lake Michigan and Traverse Bay with my kids. Looking forward to taking them to The Island (Mackinaw) this summer for their first time, as well as taking them up to Picture Rocks and Taquemenon Falls.

My wife and i had started a "Lighthouse" tour list which has been on hold for the last 10 years (kids, work, etc) but we're looking forward to picking it back up eventually.
 
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We used to walk across the Big Mac every Labor Day. About five or six years ago we were right at the center of the span when a big lake carrier came under us and blew it's big horn. :)
 
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There's nothing like spending a nice summer evening in the Soo at the locks observation deck watching the ships go through the locks. IMG_1870.JPGIMG_1881.JPG
 
  
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2014 was a cold winter here and when the shipping reopened, the first boats really struggled to get through the ice. The breakers had been through the shipping lanes, but the ices recloses behind them and sometimes makes trouble for shippers. Here is a video of the first two boats down-bound to the Soo locks that spring. The Soo locks allow boats to be lowered (or raised) the 20ft to St Mary's river and into lake Huron. The Cason J Callaway was stuck long enough, that food and fuel had to be hauled out to them.

First Ships Through Soo Locks 214 - Cason J Callaway - John G Munson - YouTube
 
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Nice video!

I didn't know what those star shaped symbols were for, so thanks for that information.

A couple things about the Great Lakes that are surprising for some of us not used to huge lakes. Doesn't smell anything like the ocean, and the water doesn't taste salty. :)
 
  
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Well gee, I guess a few people do like this baloney. I'm a machine buff and these are just big ones. Here is a video I like because it clearly shows the captain using his front thruster, to hold his 1000ft boat against the dock in a stiff breeze to allow another laker by. He must have been using the stern thruster as well, but we can't see his in the video. You can see the flags being held pretty straight by the wind, as he passes by them.

Thousand Footers at the Soo Locks in 2 - YouTube

These boats are designed to be used in rivers, harbors and open water without tugs. Plus most can unloaded themselves of 60,000 tons of cargo in just a few hours.
 
  
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Today we happen to catch the US CG BRISTOL BAY pass through town. This is a Coast Guard Ice breaking tug who was out on buoy tending duty. That means there putting them in for the summer. Here is more info on the tug. Bay-class icebreaking tug - Wikipedia

In the first photo, the background is a ski area. In the last one you ca see some red buoys in the barge. The photos are taken while looking north into Ripley or Hancock MI.
 

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   #25  

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You think you could "keep" some of your water "home".Lake Ontario/St.Lawrence River are over-flowing!Just kidding of course;Mother Nature at her best.Record high water is causing's some grief here for sure,lots of debris in the water right now.
 
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I should add that we normally see the CG cutter Alder based in Duluth MN doing the buoy tending here. On it you see its open deck with a crane which is used to move buoys in and out of the lake. Here is the Alder at work breaking ice in Duluth harbor.

The Coast Guard cutter Alder goes out to break ice in Lake Superior and the Duluth harbor - YouTube

Here is good photos of it.

Frozen photos of Coast Guard clearing ice-encased Cutter Alder | MLive.com

I believe that is considered to be a "buoy tender"...... not a "cutter".
 
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Well gee, I guess a few people do like this baloney. I'm a machine buff and these are just big ones. Here is a video I like because it clearly shows the captain using his front thruster, to hold his 1000ft boat against the dock in a stiff breeze to allow another laker by. He must have been using the stern thruster as well, but we can't see his in the video. You can see the flags being held pretty straight by the wind, as he passes by them.

Thousand Footers at the Soo Locks in 2 - YouTube

These boats are designed to be used in rivers, harbors and open water without tugs. Plus most can unloaded themselves of 60,000 tons of cargo in just a few hours.

I have always been impressed by what a tight fit those ships have going into the locks up there. We were up there about 10 years ago and saw several go through that day. After the third one entered, my kids and wife wanted to hurt me if I made them stay and watch again.... :laughing: I could watch that stuff all day.
 
   #29  

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I believe that is considered to be a "buoy tender"...... not a "cutter".
From here...
USCGC Alder - History

ALDER History
The USCGC ALDER (WLB-216) is the last 225' Juniper Class Seagoing Buoy Tender (WLB) built by Marinette Marine Corp. Launched in Marinette, Wisconsin on February 7, 2004, the Coast Guard Cutter ALDER replaced the 180-foot SUNDEW, a Balsam Class Seagoing Buoy Tender built in 1944. After a lengthy pre-commissioning process, the Coast Guard accepted ALDER from the shipyard on September 2, 2004, and she sailed on her maiden voyage September 12th. ALDER officially attained "Great Lakes Cutter" status on October 12th after sailing through all five Great Lakes. Finally, on October 16th, she sailed for the first time into her homeport of Duluth, Minnesota. ALDER was finally commissioned on June 10, 2005.
 
   #30  

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Great Lakes... No salt and shark free!

We live pretty close to Lake Michigan. I love taking people there who have never experienced the great lakes. They typically have no concept that you can't see across these little inland lakes!

I have fond memories of sitting on the beach at Rocky Gap in Benton Harbor, MI as a kid and watching many large ore boats heading to and from Burn's Harbor, IN. Now it's a rarity.

Back on April 17, my wife and I were up at St. Joe taking a walk towards evening. There was a very weird looking band (about half a finger-width at full arm extension) on the horizon from full left to full right view... New Buffalo to somewhere north of Milwaukee.... We've seen this before, its some sort of temperature inversion. Anyhow, you could very clearly see the skylines of Michigan City, Chicago and Milwaukee in this band. However, they were UPSIDE DOWN! :eek: It's called a Superior Mirage. Sadly, I only had my old Iphone and took a few pictures. They are lousy, but you can see grey pillars on the horizon, and that's Chicago.... 60 miles away as the crow flies. This was from the sidewalk to the southern end of Silver Beach in St. Joe, MI, looking WSW.

Chicago from St Joe1.jpg St Joe 2 Chicago.PNG

Here's a youtube video someone made back in 2015. Very weird to see.

 
  
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The Alder replaced the 40's built Sundew after we had left Duluth in 1996. That year was cold one, so Superior froze over and we did catch the Mac cruise into town that spring and tired up to take a few days off. They'd been out breaking ice for many, many days. After the break, they helped the Dew open the harbor up because it was to thick for that class of boat. Seems they could only do 3ft at the most?? Nonetheless, the Adler and Dew are suppose to be buoy tenders, do recurse jobs, break ice and law reinforcement. What else?? Seems like that's to many jobs for just one design....
 
   #33  

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I've never heard of the Superior Mirage! That was very cool!

Yes, it was weird. We've seen it twice, but this last time was spectacular. The sunset was even inverted. That is, just at the time when you'd expect the last sliver of the orange disc to drop below the horizon, two curved horns of orange started poking UP on either side of the disc. Horn, space, top of disc, space, horn. Then they joined, then disappeared going UP! Super freaky!!!! :laughing:
 
   #34  

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Yes, it was weird. We've seen it twice, but this last time was spectacular. The sunset was even inverted. That is, just at the time when you'd expect the last sliver of the orange disc to drop below the horizon, two curved horns of orange started poking UP on either side of the disc. Horn, space, top of disc, space, horn. Then they joined, then disappeared going UP! Super freaky!!!! :laughing:

I've heard of that but never seen it myself.
 
  
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Ken boothe (now been renamed) is a tug our buddy worked on for a bit. Does anyone wonder why these tug/barges exist?

LAKES CONTENDER - KEN BOOTHE SR. - Upbound Port Huron, Micigan 1 2 216 - YouTube


Dorothy Ann/Pathfinde outbound on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH. This is how BIG boats do narrow rivers! The exhaust pipe near the pilot house must be for his stern thruster .

Cuyahoga River Outbound - YouTube


Joseph H. Thompson/Joseph H. Thompson Jr. unloads rock in Grand Haven MI.

Joseph H. Thompson/Joseph H. Thompson Jr. return to Grand Haven - YouTube
 
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We read in the paper today that the Alder's buoy crane is out of order which put this job on the Bristol B.

Today we happen to catch the US CG BRISTOL BAY pass through town. This is a Coast Guard Ice breaking tug who was out on buoy tending duty. That means there putting them in for the summer. Here is more info on the tug. Bay-class icebreaking tug - Wikipedia

In the first photo, the background is a ski area. In the last one you ca see some red buoys in the barge. The photos are taken while looking north into Ripley or Hancock MI.
 
  
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The Cort was the last boat built with a front pilot house. They're now all in the rear which costs millions less to have there. Go figure...
 
  
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Here is a nice video of the Edgar B. Speer down-bound in the "rock cut" which is located between the Soo and Lake Huron. The Speer is pushing some ice in this film and going pretty fast. This channel I'm told is shallow and fully load boats will only have three feet of draft under them so there props with cavitate and vibrate the boats. When they've got stuck in ice here, they'll power up and move the rocky bottom creating "wind-rolls" which subsequent boat will strike.

Edgar B. Speer busts through frozen Rock Cut St. Mary's River - YouTube

Our little Lake Superior is quite high from the wet spring and cool weather we've had. That means boats will be fully loaded. Sorry to report that to the guys on the lower lakes!
 
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Oh dear, this is one of the best lake boat videos I've ever seen of one at work, in a harbor. This is at the coal dock in Superior WI. You can clearly see his thrusters in use and do note, he's holding the boat static in the St Louis river as he waits his turn at the dock. The loading sequence is also very neat to see. This was taken from the pilot house of the Algoma Olympic.

Great Lakes Sailing - Loading at Superior WI, HD time-lapse - YouTube
 
  
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Has everyone lost interest in lake shipping?? :-(

Our BIG lake continues to raise and I read in shipping news that the St. Lawrence Seaway locks may need to revert to limited shipping days because of high water flows. Seems the St. Lawrence is dangerous for boats to navigate when flowage is so high. Sorry to say our lake is still going up guys!
 
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As the water temperatures drop, the lake levels in Superior, Michigan and Huron rise because the water isn't evaporating much. If we have a mild winter, the waters will warm faster, and evaporate faster, and levels will start dropping again. It all hinges on how cold the lakes stay for how long each year.
 
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I hitched a ride on a Fed Nav ship some years ago while in the great lakes. The MV Federal Vigra. Not a very glamorous existence. All these unknown, unimpressive ports and docks. I felt sorry for the friendly, very hard working filipino crew. What a life. I had full run of the ship and it was interesting, but after a few days, I couldn't have gotten off that thing fast enough.

The food was outstanding and I will never forget what they called the water on board. Engine Room Champagne.
 
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Yes that should all be true. Problem is this past winter, our little lake (Superior) never froze much and of course the little lower ponds didn't as well (we call all the lower lakes;-). Yet they all came up this past winter. I expect the warm temps, didn't compensate for the large volume going into them. We had a banner year of snow fall here which is lake snow....

Nonetheless, lake boats are hauling big loads this summer since they can run with a deep draft now. Steel product shipping is up and mines are hiring. When I say "products" that means all the materials used to make steel.

As the water temperatures drop, the lake levels in Superior, Michigan and Huron rise because the water isn't evaporating much. If we have a mild winter, the waters will warm faster, and evaporate faster, and levels will start dropping again. It all hinges on how cold the lakes stay for how long each year.
 
  
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Looks like our little lake continues to come up. Are you guys in the lower lake still getting rain?

--------from Great lakes & Seaway Shipping - File not found

Lake Superior on verge of record high July water level

8/2 - The Lake Superior water level continues its fourth year of rising. As the water level rises on Lake Superior, it comes closer to the monthly record water level. In July 2017, Lake Superior fell just short of its July record high water level.

In July 2017 the Lake Superior average was 602.85 feet. This number doesn't represent a water depth. It is a height measurement that is used to compare to water levels in other months and other years. It would be similar to if you put some markings on the side of your bathtub.

Read more, and view a water level chart at this link
 
  
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Posted today on Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping - BoatNerd.Com This can happen because of the high lake levels. Its raining here today!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edgar B. Speer breaks Soo Locks tonnage record

8/9 - Edgar B. Speer broke all previous vessel records for tonnage at the Soo Locks on July 25, 2017 when she locked through with 73,875 tons of iron ore bound for Gary, Ind. It would take more than 2,900 trucks to haul this single load.

The Speer, operated by the Great Lakes Fleet of Duluth, Minn., is 1004 feet in length. She was christened in 1980.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
 
   #47  

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We actually just took a trip up to the UP and took the Soo Locks Boat Tour. It was really cool, our little boat took a trip thru the locks.

1502283264395.jpg1502283391758.jpg1502283459272.jpg1502283500671.jpg1502283543973.jpg1502283594374.jpg
1502283668329.jpg

That was my first time going thru the locks and it was really impressive. We went thru the smaller, older US lock going-up, and thru the Canadian locks going back down.

What was most surprising to me, was that any operator with a motor boat (pleasure boat, fishing boat, etc) could motor up, get in line, and use the locks, free of charge. I would have thought there would be a big surcharge to use the locks, considering how much water goes thru them. But, i was interested to learn that the usage of the locks actually moves less water thru the pass than the original full-length rapids that were there in the first place. Amazing engineering.
 
  
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TSO,, thanks for posting some very nice photos. We've not been through the SOO locks like you have. For anyone who likes industrial history, those locks were the bases for the design of the Panama canal locks.
 
  
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ArlyA

ArlyA

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The Calumet ran around in St Mary river

The Calumet ran around this week just below the Soo. The Locks and the St Mary river shipping is now shut down. Oops!!

On this map, if you move it over the Soo, you can see the Calumet and boats anchored everywhere!

MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence | AIS Marine Traffic


From Boatnerd....

Calumet remains aground while salvage plan considered

8/11 - Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor a 629-foot U.S. cargo ship that ran aground on the north side of Sugar Island in the St. Marys River, Wednesday, at about 11:40 p.m.

Meanwhile, vessel traffic is starting to back up (see St. Marys River report below). At 6 p.m. Thursday, Soo Traffic told the captain of waiting vessels that no effort to move the Calumet would be made before Friday morning. A salvage plan is being evaluated.

The merchant vessel Calumet departed Essar Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and was transiting downbound on the St. Marys River to its next port of call in Brevort, Mich., when it ran aground. The vessel was not carrying any cargo.

The Army Corp of Engineers conducted an assessment of the river bottom around the vessel. Contracted divers conducted an initial assessment of the vessel's stern and determined that it is structurally sound. Divers were expected to survey the rest of the vessel later this afternoon.

Grand River Navigation, the owners of the ship, has hired an Oil Spill Removal Organization to place boom on the surface of the water near the front of the vessel to protect the environment as a precaution.

The Coast Guard conducted two aerial flights Thursday, one with an MH-60 helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, and one later in the day by a Coast Guard Auxiliary Air Patrol. A Coast Guard pollution aerial observer was aboard both flights and saw no pollution.

An investigating officer and safety officer from the Coast Guard are on board the Calumet. In addition, a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie remains on scene to monitor the safety of the vessel and any possible environmental impact. The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay is scheduled to arrive on scene Friday afternoon to provide support.

The St. Marys River will remain closed to commercial vessels from the Soo Locks to 6 Mile Point. Grand River Navigation is finalizing a salvage plan and will present it to the U.S. Coast Guard for review and approval later Thursday. The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

USCG
 

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Taken from Boatnerd.com We are still receiving rain here below the BIG lake.
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What’s going on with Lake Michigan’s water levels?

8/18 - Grand Rapids, Mich. – Lake Michigan’s water levels have been having a bit of an identity crisis in the past few years. In 2013, the lake’s water level hit it’s lowest in recorded history. But now, just four years later, they’re the highest they’ve been since 1997 – rising four feet in just that time. It has scientists taking notice.

“The amount of recovery of water we’ve had in four years is tremendous,” said Brandon Hoving, with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids. “Trillions and trillions and trillions of gallons of water.”

Literally. In order to raise the water level of Lake Michigan by just one inch, 390-billion gallons of water need to be added to it. If you’ve noticed this spring and summer were particularly dry in West Michigan, you’re right. But it isn’t our side of the lake that’s contributing to the rises. This year, parts of Wisconsin and Illinois as well as parts of the Upper Peninsula have seen significant rainfall that’s adding height to the lake.

“Wherever it’s been wetter than normal, that plays a role in how high the lakes are getting,” said Hoving. “Kind of the moral of the story is this year’s been quite wet for Michigan, in some cases 200 percent of normal precipitation.”

Recent snow melt and seasonal rains – not just this year but over the past four – have contributed as well. Heavy rain in the UP and Illinois/Wisconsin areas have contributed to rising Lake Michigan water levels.

For beach goers and those who own property near the water, it could be cause for concern, depending on what this winter brings.

“For folks that are venturing out onto the piers and breakwaters, they’re fishing off those piers, those water levels – the waves themselves – are lapping over the pier. And so that over-wash has force to it and it can knock you off the pier,” said Hoving.

“The beach is going to be churned up and chewed up a lot easier now because the lake is higher. So we’re seeing some of that erosion with some of the coastal properties on Lake Michigan.”

Fox 17
 
 
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