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20-foot waves cause 'millions' in damage to Racine's Lake Michigan shoreline

Posted: 5:24 PM, Jan 15, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-15 18:24:21-05

RACINE — 50+ mile per hour wind gusts and 20 foot tall waves over the weekend caused massive erosion along Lake Michigan's shoreline in Racine.

Mayor Cory Mason issued a declaration of emergency because of all the damage left behind. An emergency declaration allows the City of Racine to ask for state and federal assistance.

Significant damage has been reported in the areas along: Pershing Park, Carre-Hogle Park, North Beach, and Zoo Beach, and the bluffs near the north end of Racine Zoological Gardens.

The declaration from Mayor Mason reads: “Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes section 323.11 and 323.14 and Racine Ordinance section 34-1, I hereby declare that a state of emergency exists in the City of Racine for the following reasons:

During the period of January 10 through 12, 2020, a severe storm caused great damage to the shoreline of the City of Racine. Specifically, Extreme offshore-sustained wind speeds and gusts in excess of 50 mile per hour, coupled with at or near record all-time high water elevations on Lake Michigan for the past year, created an unprecedented event along the shoreline in the City of Racine. Failures and breaches exist along both protected and unprotected shorelines in various City of Racine parks as well as failures to storm water outfall infrastructure located at various points along Lake Michigan. Significant damage has been reported in the areas along: Pershing Park, Carre-Hogle Park, North Beach, and Zoo Beach, and the bluffs near the north end of Racine Zoological Gardens.

I find that the damages extant and potential for disaster existing requires extraordinary measures to protect the health, well-being, and safety of the people and property within the City of Racine and request the State’s assistance.”

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