Lake Michigan reaches record July water levels

Published: Jul. 5, 2019 at 2:41 PM CDT
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Record high water levels with the water continuing to rise.

Recent data shows Lake Michigan has never been higher during the month of July, tied with 1986 for the high water mark.

On a calm day the breakwater in Kewaunee is still visible jetting out to the lighthouse, but you can imagine what it looks like when three to four foot waves roll in.

And for visitors taking in the sights, getting up close to the lake is a challenge.

"I don't think I've ever seen the Great Lake before. We walked along kind of a beach area and it seemed like there wasn't a whole lot of sand," says Kerry Anderson from Kansas City, MO.

Approaching three feet above Lake Michigan's long term July average, the Army Corps of Engineers, in its weekly lake level report for July 5th, predicts the record-breaking to continue in August with another two inches.

Concern is rising with the water.

"It's erosion you know and the electrical hazards, electrical wiring is under water, " says Greg Hlinak, who oversees maintenance at the Kewaunee Marina.

He says the high water is also causing headaches, in the parking lot, and playground turned water park.

"It's a big inconvenience for everybody, you need boots, big inconvenience all around, not only for here but other business around town, with the property being under water, the boat ramps over there, brand new boat ramps that they built last year, and they're underwater, you can't use them," says Hlinak.

Four inches higher than last month, 15 inches higher than a year ago, along the lakeshore, Lake Michigan certainly has people's attention.

"It may not be stopping here, it may go higher and who know this could be a couple years. Where's all this water gonna go?," wonders Hlinak.