Lake Erie's Rise in Water Levels Constitute Little Concern for Flooding and Algae Blooms

Jun 7, 2017

Lake Erie's water levels rise nine inches above normal.
Credit WKSU

Water levels are at near-record highs in Lake Erie. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the water levels are 9 inches above normal, tied to a very rainy spring.

Ohio State’s Stone Lab on Lake Erie is focused on science, education and research concerning the Great Lakes.  Research coordinator Justin Chaffin says the high levels could cause some minor flooding for people living along the lake.


It would depend on how high your property value sits above the water. If your backyard or front yard is right at water level, and if it rises a little bit more, you might be worried about getting water in your basement or flooding in your house.

Chaffin says this could cause some minor flooding issues for people living along the lake, but he says it’s all the rain this spring, not the water level of the lake itself, that has an effect on algae blooms.


With the algae problem, we know that the amount of rain we get in the springtime -- spring and early summer -- will drive how large or how small the bloom is. When we get a drought, like we got last year, we’ll get a much smaller bloom. When we get a lot of rain, we will get a much larger bloom.

Chaffin says the change in levels is part of a normal cycle and expects the water to rise no more than a foot in total.