Lake Erie predicted to be nearly a foot lower than last summer - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lake Erie predicted to be nearly a foot lower than last summer

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - Boaters beware: Lake Erie is likely to have less water this summer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the lake will be 10 inches to 11 inches lower this June than in the same month last year. That has officials asking large sailboats with deep keels to be more cautious during docking and launching.

Lake Erie was at 570.8 feet above sea level on April 29, nearly a full foot below its level of 571.7 feet a year ago. The average for the month is 571.9 feet.

The corps predicts that the lower-level trend will continue into the summer, said Tim Calappi, a Great Lakes hydrologist with the corps.

Although the level should have little effect on recreational boaters, some businessmen such as Eric Guerrein, owner of Lake Erie Towing and operator of the Wolverine Park Marina, may suffer from insufficient docking depths.

"A marina like ours serves transients, and unfortunately, we have to turn some people away because we don't have the depth to get them in," Guerrein said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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