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High water levels in the Great Lakes are posing a historic threat

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Record high water levels on the Great Lakes are causing massive erosion along the waterways’ shoreline, and researchers predict the situation will only grow worse over the next few months.

In the 1990’s the Great Lakes’ water levels had dropped dramatically. But experts say over the past decade, intense precipitation pushed Lakes Ontario and Erie to all-time high water marks. This year, Lake Michigan, Huron and Superior were at the highest water levels ever recorded for the month of January.

University of Michigan professor Drew Gronewold says it’s devastating shoreline communities.

“There are houses falling in the water," Groneweld said. "There are folks who are moving their houses back if they have the means to do so from the shore line. Waste water treatment systems being inundated and having to be shut down periodically.”

He says the climate-driven trend appears irreversible, and both home owners and policymakers must find ways to adapt.