Lake St. Clair has set a new record-high monthly mean water level. The lake is up 10 inches from May 31, 2018, and 5 inches from the record high in 1986.

Lake St. Clair has set a new record-high monthly mean water level. The lake is up 10 inches from May 31, 2018, and 5 inches from the record high in 1986.

File photo by Julie Snyder


New water level record set on Lake St. Clair

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 7, 2019

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP/DETROIT — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announced on June 4 that based on its preliminary data from May, Lake St. Clair has set a new record high monthly mean water level.

Lake St. Clair is up 10 inches from May 31, 2018, and 5 inches from the record high in 1986.

Also setting new record highs are Lake Erie and Lake Superior. Officials said record-high water levels are possible on all the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair this summer.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, persistent wet conditions across the Great Lakes basin this spring have fueled the recent rises. Precipitation in May was 21 percent higher than the average over the Great Lakes basin as a whole, and contributed to extremely high water supplies to the lakes. The new record levels in May are between 1 and 3 inches higher than the previous record for the month set in 1986, according to a press release.

“As we expected, record highs were set in May on a few of our Great Lakes, and our June forecast shows additional record highs likely this summer,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the Detroit District, in the press release.

The Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, especially during storm events, officials stated in the 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 are also high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding.

The Army Corps of Engineers has authority to support communities in flood fighting by providing technical expertise and, in certain instances, provide flood fight supplies such as sandbags and plastic sheeting. This assistance must be requested by state authorities. Communities should contact their county emergency management offices, which can begin coordination with the state and the Army Corps.

Officials in Harrison Township and St. Clair Shores — where homes, businesses and marinas continue to struggle with the threat of water damage — have continually provided sand and distributed sandbags to those affected.

Members of the Army Corps’ Detroit District, in coordination with partners in Environment and Climate Change Canada, release the official six-month forecast for the Great Lakes. The Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes is completed at the beginning of each month, with the latest edition covering the period from June to November.

To find the Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes, visit www.lre.usace.army.mil.

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