High Water Causing Plethora of Problems for Ludington

In Ludington, the beaches are sound but they have other parts of town getting washed away by the high water.

“The waves are pounding on the shore in places they haven’t for many years,” says Joe Stickney, superintendent for the Ludington Department of Public Works.

Ludington’s Maritime Heritage Park is washing away. Despite the rock and concrete seawall, the high water and waves have eroded away the shore and the sidewalk is next. The city is looking into putting in a steel seawall and quickly.

“We’ve started talks with the Army Corps of Engineers and with EGLE to see what we have to do for permitting to get this taken care,” says Stickney.

There is a line of debris where the water washed ashore yesterday. Everything within that line and the shore is in danger.

“I have a feeling I’m gonna have to come out here and move a bunch of benches so they don’t fall into the lake,” says Stickney.

These are the pros and cons of living in a lakeshore town. You want to be next to Lake Michigan but since you are so close to Lake Michigan, when the water levels are high you deal with damage.

Since the city doesn’t know if the water levels are going to stay, there has to be a permanent fix that works.

“We don’t think it’s going away anytime soon,” says Stickney, “I have to believe another 2 to 3 years and we’ll still be dealing with this.”

This is only one spot where the lake is attacking. Boat ramps are flooded, fishing docks are under water and one corner of the road sits below the water level.

“Because of the flooding, the road is already damaged to the point where we can’t have traffic on it,” says Stickney, “It’s closed completely right now.”

The winter is sure to only complicate things with ice and more wind. The complications make it nearly impossible to keep up and plan for.

“How much do you budget for this? I can put money in the budget but is there going to be enough?” says Stickney,  “I don’t know those answers yet. It’s too early in the game to know exactly how much is is going to cost me.”