State News: Waves along Lakes Superior and Michigan Prompt Flood Advisories

Coastal areas along Lake Superior and Lake Michigan were under a flood advisory Monday, Oct. 21 as strong winds, high lake levels and waves caused flooding along the shore. Flood advisories remained in effect along the shoreline for both lakes until 10 pm Monday.

Southeast winds were gusting between 35 and 45 mph along Lake Michigan, with waves expected to build up to 13 feet along the lake by Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

On Lake Superior, waves of up to 11 feet were expected along the south shore, with higher waves possible farther out in the lake and along the north shore. Strong northeast winds were expected to exceed 50 mph at times Monday afternoon along the lake.

Along Lake Michigan, a lakeshore flood advisory was in effect along the shore of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties. The areas that were expected to be most affected were low-lying areas, roads and buildings near the lake, said Taylor Patterson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sullivan.

Great Lakes Ports Tracking Ahead with Cargo

Great Lakes ports are on pace to handle more cargo this year while shipments are down on the St. Lawrence Seaway so far in 2019. Construction activity is boosting growth in shipments of cement, stone and other products for Great Lakes ports in the United States, said Bruce Burrows, president of the binational Chamber of Marine Commerce.

“I think we’re very confident we’ll see a good finish to the 2019 shipping season for the entire Great Lakes region, quite frankly,” Burrows said.

The Twin Ports closed in on roughly 24 million tons of cargo shipped through the end of September, said Jayson Hron, director of communications and marketing for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, noting that that’s slightly ahead of last year’s pace and the five-year average. The port is seeing a 9 percent growth in wind-energy cargo compared to the same time last year, with 20 shipments so far this year.

Governor Tony Evers Urges Action on Water Quality

Agencies in the Evers administration that oversee the environment, health and agriculture have sent their recommendations to improve the state’s water quality to the governor. The proposals come after the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality held 13 hearings around the state from March to September.

The recommendations focus on five groundwater contaminants: nitrates, nonpoint source pollution, PFAS, lead and pathogens.

“Folks should be able to trust the water coming from their tap,” Evers said in a written statement. “I’m proud that my administration is taking a lead on the issue of water quality in the Year of Clean Drinking Water, and I’m hopeful that the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality will take up these recommendations to ensure clean water is a reality across our state.”

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