US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District

Great Lakes water levels expected to set record highs

Published May 6, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, announces that record high water levels are forecasted on several of the Great Lakes over the next six months.

Due to recent wet conditions, the six month water level forecast now predicts higher forecasted water level peaks this summer. The forecasted water levels on Lakes Superior, St. Clair and Erie are all expected to break records set in the early 1950s and middle 1980s. While new record highs are not currently forecasted for Lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario, very high water levels are expected there as well.

“Several months of wet weather, including a significant snowpack across the northern Great Lakes basin and recent heavy rain events have pushed water levels higher than originally forecasted,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, in coordination with partners in Environment and Climate Change Canada, release the official six month forecast for the Great Lakes. This Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes is complete at the beginning of each month, with the latest edition covering the period from May to October. The link can be found at the end of this news release.

The Great Lakes region will continue to see the threat of coastal flooding and shoreline erosion, especially during storm events. Localized water levels are often impacted by winds and can be significantly higher during storms. Water levels and flow rates in the connecting channels of the Great Lakes are also high and may, depending on winds and other atmospheric conditions, lead to localized flooding. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has authority to support communities in flood fighting by providing technical expertise, and in certain instances, provide flood fight supplies, such as sandbags and plastic sheeting. This assistance must be requested by state authorities. Communities should contact their county emergency management offices, who can begin coordination with the state and the Corps.

For additional information, contact Lynn Rose, director of public affairs at 313-226-4680 or Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District at 313-226-6442.

To find the Monthly Bulletin of Water Levels for the Great Lakes visit: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Missions/Great-Lakes-Information/Great-Lakes-Water-Levels/Water-Level-Forecast/

To find more information about international outflow regulation activities visit:

https://www.ijc.org/en/loslrb

https://www.ijc.org/en/lsbc

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Contact
Lynn Rose
313-226-4680
313-300-0662 (cell)
Lynn.M.Rose@usace.army.mil

Release no. 19-004