67° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

2 Great Lakes hit lowest water level on record

Published On: Feb 06 2013 06:47:26 AM CST

Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that tests taken in January show that Lake Huron and Lake Michigan were at their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918.

The lakes were 29 inches below their long-term average and had declined 17 inches since January 2012. The other Great Lakes -- Superior, Erie and Ontario -- were also well below average.

Scientists say the drought and other natural forces, along with dredging of rivers that drain from the lakes, have contributed to the level drops.

Low water causes heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish spawning areas.

  • Nobel logo shadow

    Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    2015 Nobel Prize winners

    Winners will be announced all week for the Nobel Prize for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics and Peace. Here are some of the winners that have been announced.

  • FIFA teaser

    Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

    FIFA corruption scandal: What you need to know

    With FIFA's ethics committee on Wednesday recommending a 90-day suspension for president Sepp Blatter, take a look at the corruption charges lobbed at the embattled soccer organization so far.

  • Life ring from El Faro found


    Timeline: El Faro sinking

    The captain of the missing container ship El Faro is capable and experienced, a friend says, and likely believed he had a good plan to avoid Hurricane Joaquin in the Atlantic when he and 32 other crew members departed Florida for Puerto Rico last week. Take a look at details of El Faro's sinking.