State of emergency declared for erosion on the shores of Lake Michigan

“Megaolas” in the wake of winter storms have destroyed trails in front of Lake Michigan. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a statewide disaster proclamation for Cook and Lake counties to help them recover from a winter storm on January 10.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also did the same for Chicago and asked for federal aid because the damage is a surprise $25 million

“We need FEMA to act immediately and approve the funds,” Lightfoot said at a news conference. The storms reported in the past few weeks have seen wind gusts of more than 50 miles and waves up to 23 feet high.

Howard and Rogers Park beaches in North Chicago had to be closed due to high water levels and erosion. “We have to recognize that the challenges of climate change are going to continue and are a threat to Lake Michigan and all the Great Lakes,” said Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

Authorities have been monitoring the lake’s conditions since last summer when a record high level of the lake was reported.

Rain, high winds and flooding in January caused significant damage and asphalt slides along the trail.

In response, the state allocated funds for Cook and Lake Counties that suffered property damage over 30 miles of lake shore

In the meantime, the city is working with state and federal agencies to develop a long-term plan to address future climate change erosion and avoid damage to lakefront infrastructure.

With the passing of the years and the scourge of powerful waves, the shoreline of Lake Michigan seems to be disappearing and the threat of devastating floods already concerns residents from the South Shore to Rogers Parkā€¦Read more

Over the past few years, the effects of erosion on streets and sidewalks have been especially severe in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

Last September the city of Chicago announced a plan to prevent flooding and indicated that retaining barriers would be built to stop water from entering the trail.