Silver Lake Dunes swallow up house

News

GOLDEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Every year, the sand dunes that line Silver Lake in Oceana County move and migrate. This year, they swallowed up an entire house.

The house that belonged to Phil Dressler now stands in splinters, windows smashed, roof collapsed.

The fact that the dunes move is no secret in Silver Lake. Silver Lake State Park Manager Jody Johnston said that most years, the dunes migrate by at least six feet. The last two winters have been warm, which means the sand was able to consume more than usual. Johnston said he wouldn’t be surprised if the dune has progressed around 14 feet in the last year.

“I’ve heard of about anywhere from six, 10, 12 other cottages that have been covered up in the past,” Johnston said. “There was a road at one time that went around the other side of the lake and that has been covered up.”

In years past, Dressler got permits to move the sand away from his house. When he died a year ago, he left the property to his son, who didn’t move the sand in time to save the house.

It’s not clear what the son plans to do with the property. A second structure owned by the estate is next in the dunes’ path — a three-car lighthouse garage.

The dunes, which are driven by west wind, won’t stop moving anytime soon.

“It will slowly cover up entire forests and you can see as you get closer to the dune where entire trees just get covered up,” Johnston showed 24 Hour News 8.

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