Heavy rain exacerbates Lake Michigan bluff erosion in Ozaukee County

Heavy rain exacerbates Lake Michigan bluff erosion in Ozaukee County

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Lake Michigan Water Level

Recorded Lake Michigan water levels from 1980 to 2020.

TOWN OF GRAFTON — Heavy rain earlier this week in Wisconsin flooded backyards and seeped into basements, but it's left one home in Ozaukee County teetering on a bluff along Lake Michigan.

A large chunk of the bluff along Lake Shore Road collapsed after days of unrelenting rain.

“There used to be 100 feet of frontage in the backyard for the yard,” said Tom Grabow, Ozaukee County supervisor. “It’s all gone.”

Erosion isn’t limited to the home with the exposed foundation, WITI-TV reported. Small sections of the bluff have failed up and down the Ozaukee County shoreline.

County Emergency Management Director Scott Ziegler said bluff erosion has been an issue for a number of years.

“Those areas are not safe,” said Ziegler. “Some of the stuff we’ve been seeing lately is more ground saturation drainage, soil type. They just come together and they don’t mix well, and we lose significant chunks of bluff.”

Ozaukee County officials have taken steps to rezone some of the shoreline to prevent people from building too close to the edge.

The Ozaukee County Board plans to meet Wednesday night and discuss what to do about these properties.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, WITI-TV.

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