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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

High Water Levels Monitored in Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores | by Megan Johnson  

Parts of the North Shore Trail have been eroded in recent months.

Spring of 2019 - North Shore Trail Erosion  

High water levels have had an impact along the Lake Huron Shoreline and the possibility of erosion is something the Town of Saugeen Shores is monitoring everyday, says Saugeen Shores Manager of Parks, Frank Burrows.

Recently the North Shore Road and Trail; particularly from Miramichi Bay to North Shore Park in Port Elgin, has been affected by high water levels.

"That road is very close to the Lake and the high water," says Burrows. 

"We have experienced some erosion, some of the rocks have eroded away and we've had a little bit of asphalt cave-in on the path...so we've done immediate maintenance on that."

Burrows reminds trail users and motorists to be cautious during the winter months as the roads could become icier from splashing water freezing over the roadway.

He adds it would be beneficial if the Lake was to freeze early, to keep water from spraying the roadways and creating unsuitable road conditions.

Gobles Grove and Port Elgin Main Beach have also felt the effects of the water levels, particularly during wind events. 

"The water is so high that it's coming close to the promenade and one section was eroded," says Burrows in regards to the Main Beach.

He says the Town will address the majority of water related maintenance issues in the Spring of 2020.

For the month of November 2019 the water level mean was 177.27 m, whereas the highest level in recent recorded years was 177.38 m in 1986.

"Normally the water starts to drop at this time of year .. there's an annual cycle, it peaks in July and it's usually low in December through February."

Burrows says there are some positives to the high levels and that is they will eventually recede. 

"Some of the dunes have been eroded which is what exactly they're supposed to do."

He says the sand features protect the shoreline  and essentially turn into a sandbar in low water levels.

"The sand pulls back in and forms those dunes again...so that's what we call the whole sand-cycle... it's Mother Nature's way of replenishing the beach."

Water levels of the Great Lakes have been close to their record highs. This year Lake Superior reached its record which was established in 1952 at 183.86 m.

It may not feel like it but the Lake Huron water levels have been decreasing since August, where the average water level sat at 177.32 m...  the average level of November was 177.27 m.

Water Level Information can be found here.

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