Lakeshore Communities Brace for Strong Winds & More Beach Erosion

You might be facing a wild ride on your Thanksgiving travels anywhere around Michigan’s Great Southwest if the hazardous weather outlook develops to the degree that the National Weather Serviced offices in Grand Rapids and Northern Indiana anticipate. High Wind Warnings and Lakeshore Flood Warnings will be going into effect on a day when many people will be trying to get out of town, arriving in town, or simply making their way across town.

Significant beach and bluff erosion are in the cards again, driven by extreme winds and high seas along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Lakeshore Flood Warning will be in effect from 5am tomorrow, Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 until 11pm tomorrow night. That warning comes from the National Weather Service office in Northern Indiana. Southwest winds from 30 to 40 mph, gusting to 60 mph turn westerly later bringing 12 to 16 foot waves, with possibilities as high as 20-feet along the way.

Severe beach erosion, already at epidemic levels, and coastal flooding along the immediate lakeshore are anticipated, and people are urged to stay away from the beach and always avoid driving through flooded areas.

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A Lakeshore Flood Warning means that flooding is occurring or imminent along the lake, and residents on or near the shore in the warning areas should be alert for rising waters, and take appropriate action to protect life and property.

The High Wind Warning encompasses the entire region and is slated to be in effect from 4am tomorrow morning, Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 until 9pm tomorrow night. Those southwest winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting up to 60 mph at times are expected to be damaging, and capable of blowing down trees and power lines. Power outages are expected in some areas, and travel is expected to be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles on north-south oriented roadways.

People are urged to avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible you are encouraged to remain in the lower levels of your home during windstorms, and avoid windows. You are also urged to use caution if you must drive.

The Grand Rapids office of the NWS says that strong winds and large waves comparable to or worse than the two wind events in October will likely create lakeshore flooding and dune erosion.