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Great Lakes Article:

Heavy Rains Raise Water Levels in Lake Erie
WTOL-TV (Toledo, OH)
Published May 17, 2005

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Last month's heavy rain helped contribute to a higher water level in Lake Erie that is affecting beach goers, recreational boaters and freight shipping in the state. The lake is a foot higher than it was a year ago, helped by the rain and higher water levels in the upper Great Lakes, which drain into Lake Erie.

"This happens," said George Controneo, a hydrologic engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers. "The lakes go up and down a bit. It's not unusual. There's nothing we can do but watch."

The higher water makes it easier for boaters to navigate shallow areas, said Caz Kravec, clubhouse manager at the Forest City yacht Club. And freighters can carry more cargo in the deeper water. "What it really does mean in the big picture is the vessels are being used more efficiently," said Glen Nekvasil, spokesman for the Lake Carriers Association, which represents operators of U.S. ships on the Great Lakes.

But the higher water also can pick up debris that was sitting on shore, sending it into the water.

This year's water level, while higher than normal, is still about 20 inches below the record for this time of year, which was set in 1986, Controneo said.

Posted by AEB

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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