As it has for several months running, Lake Superior’s water level stood at 18 inches below its monthly average for early May and 13 inches below its level at the same time last year. Even so, The Soo Evening News reports that the Army Corps of Engineers has increased the outflow from Lake Superior by almost 9%:
Amid growing accounts of low water worries from around Lake Superior, the Corps of Engineers announced this week that water released to the lower Great Lakes increased by 4,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the start of May.
The May increase in water released to the lower St. Marys River was apparently called for in the International Lake Superior Board of Control regulation plan for Lake Superior. The increase accompanies a slight seasonal rise in Lake Superior water levels last month.
In the announcement, the Corps said water released to the lower St. Marys increased from 48,700 cfs to 53,000 cfs for the month of May.
The statement said Lake Superior’s water level is expected to rise again in May, despite continued near-drought conditions across the Big Lake’s watershed.
The Corps reported water supply to all three Upper Great Lakes was below average in April.
Lake Superior remains below chart datum and just a few inches above its long-term record set in 1926. Water levels took a plunge late in 2006 due to widespread dry conditions across its watershed last summer. Relatively light winter snow pack provided only limited relief as the spring thaw set in by March.
Lakes Huron and Michigan rose in April by about two inches, or half the two lakes’ normal April rise. Like Superior, the two lakes stood at 16 inches below their average level for early May when this month began, the Corps of Engineers reported.
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