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Lake Superior is at record high level, causing problems on North Shore

A combination of snowmelt and heavy rain is behind the problem.

The snow seen over the winter and the heavy rain of the spring has led to a record-breaking water level on Lake Superior, causing problems for Northland residents.

The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers put the water level on Superior at 603.2 feet (183.8 meters) as of Friday, which is a full foot higher than it was on the same date last year.

It's also the highest water level ever seen on the lake in May, breaking the previous record – set in 1986 – by two inches, and it's causing problems in the Northland.

The Duluth News Tribune reported this week that water from the lake is flowing upstream against the St. Louis River, "flooding boat landings and docks well away from the lake."

It's also eroding clay banks on the South Shore and beaches in Duluth and Superior, while houses situated along Park Point are finding their sump pumps filled and basements flooded because of the rising water table.

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It's going to get higher as well, with water levels expected to go up by 3 inches by this time next month, according to the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers.

A hydrologist with the Army Corps. told the News Tribune that even average rain over the summer will result in monthly high records being broken for June, July and August.

The Duluth area is forecasted to get some rain three days over the next week, but the flooding risk is greater over in the Green Bay area of Wisconsin, which is expected to see more days or rain and for more prolonged periods between now and the end of May.

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