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This year’s drought drops Lake Superior water levels back to average

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DULUTH, MN-- For the past seven years, Lake Superior water levels have been considered high.

Now, they are dropping back to their historical long-term average.

According to Chief of Watershed Hydrology for the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Keith Kompoltowicz, this year's drought played a significant role.

"If you look at the North American drought monitor, you know the deep reds and browns that surround the Lake Superior Basin are really the reason we have seen Lake Superior to near average levels,' said Kompoltowicz.

Gale Kurns, a park point resident who has lived on Lake Superior for more than 30 years, said the lower water is welcome news after the area struggled with storm damage in recent years.

"We had significant destruction, and we have lived through the high waters of 1986 and other years because we were here then. They didn't do that kind of damage," said Kurns.

For now, the Army Corps of Engineers said heading into this fall, they expect water levels on Lake Superior to remain right around average.

"Our six-month forecast that projects things now into early 2022. And for Lake Superior, we're thinking, and we're predicting that the lake is going to remain very near its long-term average," said Kompoltowicz.

Kurns and many of his neighbors can breathe a little easier for now.

"I think if you talk to anyone that lives between the bridge and the s-curve, at least in terms of private property damage, everyone is very happy that the lake levels are down."

Peter Kvietkauskas

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