- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit says water levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron are above average this season for the first time since 1998.

Army Corps watershed hydrology chief Keith Kompoltowicz tells the Times Herald of Port Huron (http://bwne.ws/1r5DctD ) the lakes are 19 to 20 inches higher than they were at this time last year. A six-month forecast predicts levels will stay about 15 to 19 inches higher than they were last year, or about 2 to 4 inches above average.

September was the first month since December 1998 that the levels were above average. Kompoltowicz says a wet spring and snowy winter contributed to the rising water.

The increase could mean a faster current in the St. Clair River and less beach space, as well as heavier loads on commercial freighters.

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Information from: Times Herald, http://www.thetimesherald.com

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