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Wednesday storm swept away dunes in Michigan communities

October 19, 2019 GMT
Large waves, on Lake Michigan, caused by high winds, crash into the Saint Joseph Lighthouse and pier on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Saint Joseph, Mich. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)
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Large waves, on Lake Michigan, caused by high winds, crash into the Saint Joseph Lighthouse and pier on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Saint Joseph, Mich. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)
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Large waves, on Lake Michigan, caused by high winds, crash into the Saint Joseph Lighthouse and pier on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Saint Joseph, Mich. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)

SPRING LAKE, Mich. (AP) — The National Weather Service says Wednesday’s storm that battered Lake Michigan’s shoreline swept away up to 20 feet of dunes in some of Michigan’s lakeside communities.

The weather service says wind-driven waves combined with already near-record high lake levels to create widespread lakeside erosion, threatening some homes in western and northern Michigan.

Spring Lake resident Sammie Congleton says Wednesday’s waves damaged part of her home’s deck and further eroded dunes that once extended 300 feet (91 meters) to the water.

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She tells WOOD-TV the home she and her husband bought in the early 1990s has been “a little piece of paradise.” Now, they’re awaiting government approval to install large rocks to hold the remaining dunes in place.

Forecasters expect the lake’s high waters to continue into early next year.