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Lake Erie water levels at near-record high

Ryan Hallock
Creative Commons

Lake Erie's water levels have risen to a near record high, causing flood concern. Some residents with lakefront properties say they've lost patios and staircases due to the rising water.

Jennifer Caddick is a spokesperson for the Alliance for the Great Lakes. She says the rising levels are part of a natural cycle.

"Water levels vary from month to month, and also over decades, and so we go through periods of high water levels and low water levels," Caddick said. "That's just a natural part of the Great Lakes cycle."

Lake Erie's last reading put the body of water at 574 feet, just 7.3 inches shy of an all-time high in 1986. Caddick said wetlands along the coast benefit from the fluctuating levels.

"Sometimes we'll see a wetland that looks terribly flooded, but it may be a natural situation that is actually very helpful for a wetland," Caddick said.

Scientists say heavy rains and months of melting snow are responsible for the hike in water levels, not global warming.

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