Forecast: For fifth consecutive year, Great Lakes water levels on the rise

DETROIT — Experts predict that Great Lakes water levels will rise for a fifth consecutive year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says all five lakes should reach above-average levels in 2018, continuing a steady recovery from record lows in 2013.

The corps recently released a forecast for the next six months. It predicts Lake Superior will break a record high level set in the mid-1980s. Hydraulic engineer Lauren Fry tells The Detroit News that Superior already was just 4 inches below the record in December, and that’s before it receives water from this spring’s rains and snow melt.

The Great Lakes’ upward trend means pleasure boaters and commercial shippers won’t have to worry about hitting bottom in shallow channels. But environmental regulators warn of shoreline erosion in some places.

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