Lake Michigan swallows beach, nears homes

Rising Waters

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Erosion at the lakeshore is continuing to worsen as fall storms brew up big waves.

Lake Michigan is inching closer and closer to many homes and there’s no real way for homeowners to stop it.

“We’ve lost probably 80 to 100 feet of beach already,” homeowner Paul Griffeth said as he walked News 8 cameras through his beachfront property just south of Grand Haven.

Griffeth said it has gotten so bad that he was forced to tear up portions of his walkway to the beach. Now it ends in a steep drop-off over the sand dune.

“They went all the way out to the beach at one point. That was over two years ago. We’ve lost that much,” he said.

Storm Team 8 says there will be more rain and wind to come this fall. Lake levels will get higher and eat away at sand dunes.

Some homeowners have started to put up sandbags and sea walls to keep the rising lake levels from swallowing their homes.

It’s an issue they have been facing for decades. In the 1980s, some homes in the nearby Indian Village and Stickney Ridge neighborhoods fell into the lake. Homeowners now say it’s something they hope to never experience.

“We’re lucky. We’re back quite a ways but if this continues, yeah, we’re concerned,” Griffeth said.

Homeowners say while they’re doing the best they can, much of the battle is out of their hands.

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