Risk of Shoreline Damage from Fall and Winter Storms
The Lake Huron water level is currently just below the record high for the month of September. Although this level is slightly below the all-time high that was recorded in 1986, it is high enough to cause significant damage to the shoreline when fall and winter storms arrive.
Throughout September the lake level is projected to be just over 10 cm (4 inches) higher than it was in September 2019. The water is expected to drop slightly in October but will still be very close to the October 2019 level.
Fall and winter storm systems bring strong northwest winds that impact the Lake Huron shoreline. These winds, combined with high water, create intensified wave action. As temperatures drop this wave action may also create freezing spray. Maitland Conservation is encouraging property owners with structures close to the water to prepare for the possibility of flooding and freezing spray. This includes boarding up windows and doors when closing your cottage for the season.
Maitland Conservation’s Shoreline Technician Shannon Millar is also urging caution in bluff areas during the fall and winter.
“Our stretch of shoreline features a lot of steep clay bluffs. Bluff failures are more likely when the bluffs are saturated with water and erosion is occurring at the base of the bluffs from wave action.” reports Millar. “We’re encouraging people to stay out of structures that are close to the edge of the bluff and not to walk along the top of the bluffs.”
A good resource for shoreline landowners is the weekly Great Lakes water level update that’s posted on the US Army Corps of Engineers website at: www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/ For erosion and property specific information contact Shannon Millar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact:
Shannon Millar, Shoreline Technician
519-335-3557 ext. 240