Great Lakes levels rise, but slump hasn't ended

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Federal scientists say Great Lakes water levels are up sharply this year because of heavy rain and snow. But it's too early to declare an end to the slump that has affected most of the system since the late 1990s.

The drop-off has been most pronounced in Lakes Huron and Michigan, which have the same level because they're connected. Keith Kompoltowicz (Kom-POHL-tuh-witz) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer says in a briefing Wednesday those lakes are nearly a foot higher than last November.

That's a big improvement from early this year, when they hit their lowest point since record-keeping began in 1918.

Still, experts forecast that Michigan and Huron will remain well below their long-term average into next spring, while Lakes Superior and Erie will be slightly below average.