Rising water levels in St. Clair Shores have residents preparing for worst

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Thursday's rain is adding to the rising water levels in Lake St. Clair.

St. Clair Shores is now preparing for the worst, issuing an emergency declaration order. 

"Yesterday we did about 50 (sandbags) and we are going to do another 50 today," said Sue Springer.

The city declared a high water level emergency, setting up sandbagging sites and urging people on the coast and along canals to stack the shoreline. You can get a list of sites to pik up sand bags below.

"Nineteen eighty-six was the last time the water was this high; I guess another 8 inches are expected," said Chris Vitale who's on the St. Clair Shores City Council.  

"The Army Corp of Engineers tells us it's going to go up another 8 inches before the end of June," said Mike Smith, St. Clair Shores city manager.

Smith says the winds haven't helped their cause pushing the water to shore.

"Most folks haven't had to do this in over 30 years," Smith said. "This is all new to them."

Canals are teetering with only inches to spare before spilling over. In some places the damage is already done. 

"We lost 75 feet of our 100 feet of deck," said Ben Spencer. He and his wife live in a condo complex off Jefferson. The rains this week caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

"At least there is no water in our basements, the deck is destroyed but we can replace decks," he said.

And next door the city had to literally build a road over a flooded lot to build a berm to protect homes from flooding.

"The north side of his lot had a berm, the south side had a berm, he didn't have a berm," Smith said. "The water came over what he had, the sea wall, and flooded out his two neighbors."

It's a big price tag for the city to step in like it did here...that's why Smith says to use the sandbags now to protect your home as the rising waters are inevitable. 

"If you take care of your prop and others don't you will still be impacted and that's not fair," Smith said. 

"Everybody has always come together in the 1970s, 1980s to get the job done," Vitale said.


Department of Public Works - 19700 Pleasant
Civic Arena - 20000 Stephens
Lac Ste Clair Park Guard Shack - 27600 Jefferson
Veterans Memorial Park Guard Shack - 32400 Jefferson

Sand piles will be available for resident to fill the sand bags at:
Civic Arena Parking Lot - 20000 Stephens
Lac Ste Clair Park (Behind City Hall) Parking Lot - 27600 Jefferson
Veterans Memorial Park Parking Lot - 32400 Jefferson

Residents are asked to take no more than 100 sand bags at a time.