The impact of low water levels across Northern Michigan
There's no question as you drive along Lake Michigan that water levels are drastically low, and it's leaving everyone who takes advantage of the waterfront a little nervous as we head into the Summer.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, applications from the marinas for dredging have been flooding in. Which is more than they can say for the water.
Suttons Bay Marina says that they have had plans to dredge since January of 2012. Although it is a project that can cost thousands of dollars, it has to be done.
"You want your harbor to be approachable with vessels," said Suttons Bay Marina Supervisor, Edie Aylsworth. "So what you're doing is you're scooping out dirt pretty much out of the bottom of the water. You can only go so low according to standards. So we're making it so that boats can be in our harbor."
Marinas aren't all that are hurting from these low levels. The housing market is too.
"We're finding some sellers that once had sand frontage, now has rock frontage," said Jules Yates, Associate Broker for Exit Realty. "Sellers that had 100 feet of frontage on a nice lake now are 150 feet back from the water."
Those looking to buy a water front home are having to keep an open mind about how Mother Nature can change the landscape. But what about sellers in the market?
"Definitely seeing some sellers that are having to deeply discount their property in order to get it sold," said Yates.
The DNR expects lake levels to remain low for the next six weeks, and everyone is hoping Mother Nature can help solve the problem.
"One of the key factors for the Great Lakes water levels is the amount of moisture that we get," said 7&4 Storm Team Meteorologist, Joe Charlevoix. "Especially the snow during the Winter months. And Northern Michigan actually came in close to average or actually a little below average this year. But up in Canada, and Ontario, and Quebec, all that snow that falls to the North up in Canada, it drains down into the Great Lakes and they've had a really good year for snow fall. So that should help things out."
Charlevoix also says that they are anticipating this Spring to be wetter than normal, and that things should even out for this summer.