Great Lakes
High Water on Lake Michigan - docks underwater / Credit: John McKinney, MI Sea Grant.

Powerful waves threaten their Lake Huron dream homes

BAY CITY, MI — On a recent stormy Thursday morning, Dave and Cindy Ferrio gathered in the great room of their home on Saginaw Bay, looking out at the waves crashing into their seawall.

Some of the water makes it onto their patio, touching the steps leading up to their sliding glass door.

“When we came here, as much as five years ago, this was all sand,” said Dave Ferrio, looking out on the water now threatening his home on Killarney Beach in Bay County’s Bangor Township.

Some of the water makes it onto their patio, touching the steps leading up to their sliding glass door.

“When we came here, as much as five years ago, this was all sand,” said Dave Ferrio, looking out on the water now threatening his home on Killarney Beach in Bay County’s Bangor Township.

With Lake Huron at a near record-high water levels, he and his neighbors watch weather reports every time it storms. Waves and high water are impacting homes, roads and state parks along the Lake Huron shoreline, and experts say it could get worse.

On this day in late October, with winds expected up to 40 mph pushing water onto the shoreline, the Ferrio’s try to lighten the mood, playing Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield” and Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night" over their sound system.

But it’s no day for a beach party. Cindy Ferrio says she didn’t sleep much the night before, worrying about the weather, the water, her home, and ailing neighbors who may need help when the weather is bad. Other neighbors simply leave until the storms subside, she said.

“There’s a lot of people that leave the beach and they will go into town and sleep somewhere else,” she said. “A winter storm comes up, they’ll leave.”

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