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Lake Superior property-owners asked for feedback on high water levels

Oct 08, 2019 10:06AM ● By Editor

By Staff - October 8, 2019

The International Lake Superior Board of Control is seeking information directly from property-owners about how high water levels this year have affected them.

The agency says the input will help planners understand the impacts better, and to refine the models and tools they use to estimate the kinds of effects that future water level conditions might have.

The board is responsible for regulating the outflow of Lake Superior and managing control works on the St. Mary's River at Sault Ste. Marie.

A committee established by the International Joint Commission has developed an on-line questionnaire that allows shoreline property owners to report their experiences with shoreline erosion and structural damage over the spring and summer.

Lake Superior established new record monthly highs or tied existing records for five consecutive months, from May to September.  The questionnaire includes opportunities to describe the types and extent of high water impacts, as well as to upload photos to illustrate them.

More information, including a link to the questionnaire, is available online.

Superior reached record average monthly heights in May, June and July, and tied the all-time high monthly levels in August and September.

The lake's level at the beginning of October was one centimetre higher than it was at the start of October 1985 when the record for the average height for the month was established. 

However, that doesn't necessarily mean another record is about to be set.

Jacob Bruxer, the Canadian representative on the Board of Control, noted in an interview with Tbnewswatch on Monday that Lake Superior typically begins a slow decline in September.

That didn't happen this year, but Bruxer said breaking the 1985 record for October would be unlikely under most scenarios, as Superior's level should start falling this month.

"We're hoping that we'll see a decline. It would have to be exceptionally wet to see it rise," he said.

Bruxer said the fall of 1985 was exceptionally wet.

The lake has never been higher at any point in the year than October of that year, when it reached 183.91 metres above sea level.

Its current level is about 183.86 metres.

To read the original story and read related reporting follow this link to the Thunder Bay Newswatch website.

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