2 Great Lakes Hit Record Lows on Water Level

Lakes Huron and Michigan continue to drop

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 6, 2013 4:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the US Army Corps of Engineers said today, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation. Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record-keeping began in 1918. The lakes were 29 inches below their long-term average and had declined 17 inches since January 2012.

The other Great Lakes—Superior, Erie and Ontario—were also well below average. "We're in an extreme situation," says a corps official. The low water has caused heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish-spawning areas. The corps might reconsider a long-debated proposal to place structures in a river to reduce the flow of water away from lakes Huron and Michigan, which are connected.

Ice floats on the Lake Michigan during a cold day in downtown Chicago on Feb. 1.
Ice floats on the Lake Michigan during a cold day in downtown Chicago on Feb. 1.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
6%
12%
13%
1%
62%
5%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!