Friday: Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Water Levels Low

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All of the Great Lakes were below normal in March and all of them, with the possible exception of Lake Ontario, are expected to stay that way, the Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, along the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria Bay Friday, one measurement had the river about eight inches below normal.

Water levels on the lakes will rise this spring, but it won't be enough to offset the combined effects of drought and stepped up evaporation brought on by warming temperatures, according to the Associated Press.

Lakes Michigan and Huron were more than two feet below their long term average in March, and 15 inches lower than they were a year ago. Superior, Erie and Ontario were all at least a foot down from a year ago.

All are expected to stay below their historical averages in coming months with the possible exception of Ontario, because of the regulation of the lake and St. Lawrence River.

At Bonnie Castle Marina in Alexandria Bay Friday, the last of winter's ice was being cleared away. A measuring stick dropped in the water showed the water has come up since last fall, but is still about eight inches below normal.

It's a continuation of problems that started with last year's dry weather.

"A lot of people went aground in places where they never would have hit bottom before," said Nick Schaefer, sales manager at Bonnie Castle Marina.

Boats will start going in the water next week.

"We're borderline - about borderline as far as levels are right now," said Lonnie McAllister, Bonnie Castle's harbormaster. "They need to come up at least another 16 inches."

- the Great Lakes portion of the story is from an Associated Press article by John Flesher, AP environment writer; the St. Lawrence River portion was reported Friday by 7 News reporter John Moore

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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