Storm Drains in Ludington Filled to Capacity Due to High Lake Levels

“Lake Michigan is going to do what she wants,” said Mitchell Foster, the Ludington City Manager.

High water levels are causing issues beyond the shoreline in Ludington.

Streets and sidewalks are covered with water, overwhelming the city’s drain system.

Right now, the City of Ludington is looking for both short-term and long-term solutions.

The NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team says 2018 was the wettest year on record throughout the U.S.

That has many of the Great Lakes’ water levels rising and even expected to break records, or come very close to breaking records as soon as July.

Some of the storm drains in Ludington are at lake level, which means the water has nowhere to go but out into the street.

“You never worry about something in which you have no control,” said Bill Brown, who lives near the flooding.

When conditions are right and the wind is blowing west, Brown’s house becomes a waterfront property.

“Post out a no wake zone and a no fishing zone right here on the corner. I think people will get a laugh,” joked Brown.

Tuesday, he says the water wasn’t as bad as it usually gets, especially after a storm.

“It’ll go up to about his driveway over on that side and it’ll fill all the way across and it’ll get so it’s just coming over the edges of the curb,” explained Brown.

While Brown makes light of the situation, others who live nearby say the city needs to find a solution.

“I’m able to get in and out of my driveway, but it’s still you know it makes me a little bit like ok water where you going?” said Anna Nixon.

The city says there’s only so much they can do.

“We’re going to have to find some temporary solutions whether that’s pumping in different areas to get the water at least away from where they’re in the really low spots,” said Foster. “It’s not a good thing and we’ve just got to figure out a way to adjust the best that we can to deal with it.”

The city will hold a meeting at Ludington City Hall on Wednesday June 19.

It starts at 6 p.m. and will include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as MSU Extension.