DETROIT (WWJ) – We’ve been seeing below average water levels on the Great Lakes — and a new report expected to be released Thursday shows things won’t be getting better anytime soon.
The report by the Army Corps of Engineers forecasts that water levels will stay lower than average in the next six months.
The Corps’ Michael O’Bryan said that the hot, dry summer, last year’s weird winter and rising temperatures in general have taken their toll. “The water is low due to the precipitation patterns over the last number of years and especially the last year there was virtually no snow pack in the Great Lakes basin,” O’Bryan said.
Jim Lewis, a hydraulic engineer said things look especially bleak for Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, where levels are expected to break record lows.
None of this is good news for the Detroit Yacht Club, where boats have been getting stuck in the Detroit River in an already historically shallow area.
“Even the smallest of boats are having issues going through Scott Middle Ground,” club spokesman Jim Neumann told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “People are basically grounding their boats and getting stranded. Several of our members have towed people off of Scott Middle Ground this summer
Neumann said with low water levels expected to continue, they do have early dredging plans in place.
Congress used to provide money to dredge channels and repair other infrastructure for some communities, but such earmarks have fallen out of