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Michigan city reviews options to combat flooded streets

The Estral Beach firefighters Courtney Millar, Eric Bruley, and Chase Baldwin kayak in floodwaters on May 8 in the south end of Estral Beach in Berlin Township, Michigan. Wind-driven water caused more flooding in southeastern Michigan along western Lake Erie following recent rainfall that contributed to high water levels in the Great Lakes. (Tom Hawley/The Monroe News via AP)

The Estral Beach firefighters Courtney Millar, Eric Bruley, and Chase Baldwin kayak in floodwaters on May 8 in the south end of Estral Beach in Berlin Township, Michigan. Wind-driven water caused more flooding in southeastern Michigan along western Lake Erie following recent rainfall that contributed to high water levels in the Great Lakes. (Tom Hawley/The Monroe News via AP)

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — One Michigan city is reviewing ways to help alleviate flooding from Lake Erie onto its streets.

Starting in spring, high winds in Monroe have more than once raised the lake’s elevation several feet higher than normal, according to Patrick Lewis, Monroe director of engineering and public safety.

Lakes Erie and Ontario in June reached their highest points since record keeping began in 1918, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. Corps hydrologist Keith Kompoltowicz said three months of abnormally wet weather have kept stream flows into the Great Lakes well above average.

Lewis noted that street flooding has been somewhat uncommon because backwaters from River Raisin and Plum Creek Bay have been still. Although he said the city is lucky because wave action could have caused damage to homes and structures along the shoreline.

Some residents, meanwhile, are still dealing with flooding.

“The standing water elevation of the lake is at present higher than a number of roadway catch basin rims, resulting in constant standing water,” Lewis told the Monroe News. “This is expected to be the case for at least the next few months, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

Parts of Interstate 75 that run through the city are seeing flooding and street closures, Lewis said.

Lewis said engineering staff will work to review possible long-term options within the next few months. He said the city’s lake levels are expected to remain at their high point through the end of the year.

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