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Boreal Community Media

Heavy October rains pour billions of gallons into Lake Superior

Oct 30, 2018 08:28AM ● By Editor

From - October 30, 2018

DULUTH, Minn. (KBJR) – To say Lake Superior has seen an increase in water levels over the past 30 days is an understatement.

“So, if we go by the [Army] corps’ numbers, showing a 3-inch rise over the course of last month, that equates to about 1,650 billion gallons of water.”

Jessie Schomberg from Minnesota Sea Grant says, “Just to put that into perspective a little bit, that would be 330,000 times more water than the city of Duluth goes through in an entire year.”

Schomberg continues, “If you look at the rain fall maps across Lake Superior, there’s been a minimum over the last month of 5.8 inches of rain that has fallen on the lake, and a maximum over on the eastern shore of Canada–they had over 13 inches of rain that fell.”

More snow on the ground might have been a good thing.

“It would help if we got more snow and less rain, so if we want to pray for snow that might not be a bad thing to hold the lake levels where they are, and help them start to drop a bit,” says Schomberg.

But with October’s storm surge still fresh on our minds, Schomberg says these unusually high lake levels mean we aren’t out of the clear just yet.

“We saw the damage that was caused just a couple weeks ago with the big waves that we had. Late October and early November are known–it’s called the gales of November for a reason–so there’s certainly a reasonable chance that we’ll get a big wind storm, and have damaging waves hitting our shoreline again. More water doesn’t help with any of that.”

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