Lake Michigan flooding and disappearing beaches due to near-record water levels
Lakeshore flooding will occur throughout Thursday as strong NW winds cause water to pile up on the southeast side of Lake Michigan. Higher than normal water levels are making lakeshore flooding more common as of late.
We are noticing that the surface area of those beaches have shrunk in size in many popular spots. New Buffalo Beach, Warren Dunes State Park, Lincoln Township Beach Park, Lion's Beach and 2nd Street Beach have all lost at least half of their beach width to rising lake water.
We can blame this problem on the high water levels in the Lake Michigan-Huron Basin. The current water level as of June 7th is only two inches below the record highest water level and twenty-nine inches above average for June. Conditions along the shore will stay the same and possibly worse, as water levels are expected to rise more by July 7th.
The water level is so high due to the much above average rainfall throughout 2019 so far. There is also increasing beach erosion, which is mainly due to the lack of ice coverage this past winter.
Warren Dunes State Park officials explained that the beach size usually fluctuates over a ten year period. Our beaches will start to increase in size again in the coming years, once the lake water levels drop.