Lake erosion affecting property values in Berrien County

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- The weekend storm whipped up 10-to-15 foot waves on Lake Michigan, causing even more erosion.

And with water levels near record highs some prime beachfront properties in Berrien County are starting to lose value.

The dunes along nearby Tiscornia Beach also got hit, with sand being eaten away by the frigid water.

The army corps of engineers says 2020 will bring more record high water levels on the great lakes.

The growing threat of erosion is now decreasing property values. Some people are trying to build seawalls or install rock to break the waves’ power, but for many it’s already too late.

Property values are beginning to take a hit.

Mike Voth is a longtime St. Joseph resident who walks along Silver Beach with his wife often, and said the changes are visible each day.

“It’s a consistent problem for anybody that owns lakefront property and you can’t stop Mother Nature,” Voth said.

“The lake rises and declines with time and the cycle it goes through. All people can do is try to be proactive and sure of things ahead of time, and right now they’re really struggling and scrambling.”

With smaller beaches and higher water levels, erosion this year could get even worse.

Local realtor Mike Angelo has a stern warning for those who may try to sell their lakefront property during the eroding.

“They should just hold steady, and not really worry about selling their house,” Angelo said.

“Because if they’re looking at selling it right now, they’re going to take a beating.”

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