Lake erosion worries residents near Indiana Dunes National Park

Data pix.

Concerns along Lake Michigan's shoreline continue into Northwest Indiana Wednesday evening, as snow and winds threaten to push record-high water levels even higher.

Situated nearby Indiana Dunes National Park, Beverly Shores, Indiana's population of 600 year-round residents rises to 1,500 in the high season, as people return to the area to enjoy the splendor of Lake Michigan living.

The area is already dealing with major beach erosion, and windy conditions expected Wednesday night could only make it worse. Waves have washed away the dunes that protect both a parking area and a portion of the nearby public road. Underground utilities are in danger, too.

In recent weeks emergency work has begun, and the National Park Service is working cooperatively with the Town of Beverly Shores to remediate the problem. At a cost of $325,000 to Beverly Shore residents, that includes the installation of 300 linear feet of sand bags piled above the high water mark on the beach, blocking off the parking lot and road.

The lake’s level, in combination with recent storm waves, has resulted in conditions this part of the lake hasn't seen in decades. Still, residents are hopeful things will improve, and they can save two homes that were constructed for the 1933 World's Fair and then moved out to where they now sit near Lake Michigan.

"That's hopefully a good band-aid," local councilman Geof Benson said.

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