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Potential Increase In Water Levels From Snow, Ice Melt Could Save Consumers Money

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Many of us are pretty tired of the snow and ice and it just won’t go away.

“For March, this is just truly unusual to have this type of ice cover,” said Roy Deda of the Army Corp of Engineers.

Deda says when it finally melts, we’ll have a good payoff as the level of Lake Michigan will go up.

“We are vastly improved from where we were a year ago,” said Deda.

13 inches higher this year. Why should you care?

You’ll see the difference at stores. When there’s more water ships can carry more cargo.

When there’s less water, they have to make more trips which Deda says, “ends up increasing their costs because they are not able to carry as much in the ship due to the low lake levels.”

A 40 million dollar difference passed on to us.

Boaters like a higher lake level, too. They’ll have more places to dock.

“For example, Burnham Harbor. There’s some areas where Burnham Harbor is only about three or four feet deep and typically boats need more depth than that. You add a foot to that, it helps,” said Scott Stevenson, who works with a company that operates Chicago’s harbors.

Still, even with the increased lake level this year, it won’t fully compensate for the drought two years ago.

If there’s one small downside to a higher lake level, it’s that the beaches will shrink a bit, but there will still be plenty of room to sunbathe.

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