A near-record high Lake Michigan has been eroding bluffs and beaches. (photo courtesy: WNDU-TV)
Sandy bluffs along Lake Michigan are losing against high water and waves. (photo courtesy: WNDU-TV)
Gov. Holcomb snapped this photo of Long Beach during his aerial tour to inspect lake erosion. (photo courtesy: Gov. Holcomb's office)
Following an aerial tour of the battered Lake Michigan shoreline, Governor Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order pledging support in the battle against erosion.
The order directs state agencies to gather data and information that could lead to a disaster declaration for the Indiana coast.
Lake Michigan’s water level is near a record high, which is causing severe erosion all around the 1,600-mile shoreline.
Holcomb says his administration has been monitoring the growing problem, but he wanted to see the damage firsthand.
The governor says the conditions near Beverly Shores, Ogden Dunes, Portage and Long Beach are particularly bad.
“I signed an executive order to initiate new action steps and further express our dedication to preserving one of our state’s crown jewels for all those who live, work and play along the shoreline,” said Gov. Holcomb.
The governor’s office says the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has expedited the authorization of emergency repair projects that have been requested by property owners affected by erosion.
The executive order calls for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to notify the Governor’s office if damage criteria, as set by the federal government, is met. That would allow the state to seek federal disaster assistance.