Image: Icy Great Lakes

With the Great Lakes continuing to experience higher than normal water levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is strongly urging everyone to be aware of safety hazards in and around the water.

High water levels pose threats all year round, but strong winds and storms can bring powerful and dangerous impacts to the shoreline.

“Not really surprised, especially given some of the tragic events that we’ve heard of in recent weeks,” said Bangor Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley.

Rowley believes the rising waters along Michigan’s shoreline are dangerous. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed and released the following statement.

“The Great Lakes are continuing to experience higher than normal water levels. High water levels create safety hazards, such as submerged breakwaters, dangerous rip currents and electric shock risks. Please adhere to posted warning signs. Do not swim near or jump off any structure – the life you save may be your own.”

On New Year’s night, 16-year-old Flushing resident Eliza Trainer was knocked off a pier by a wave when visiting the west side of the state. She is presumed dead. Emergency crews are still searching for her.

Rowley thinks we should avoid certain areas when the water gets angry. He is worried about when temperatures warm up and the ice thaws.

“Some of our marinas in the area or harbors, most of them have electrical service at the docks,” said Rowley. “When the water comes up and rises, especially strong northeast wind and driven events, wouldn’t be uncommon without a shadow of a doubt that maybe some of that water can come in contact with electricity.”

Rowley admitted that seeing the tall breakers up close can make for great pictures on social media, but he said it’s not worth the risk.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to do and please use extreme caution,” said Rowley.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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