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Workers busy moving homes and cottages away from Lake Michigan

A second big October storm on Lake Michigan is whipping up waves 10 feet and taller.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The National Weather Service forecasted Tuesday's storm would result in significant dune erosion to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Winds reaching 30 to 40 miles per hour whipped up waves 10 feet and taller. The erosion forecast was correct with areas losing beach and dune area from Manistee down to the state line.

Beach areas like Pere Marquette in Muskegon are flooded in some locations from waves pushing higher and higher. At the south end of the beach police posted a sign warning of the danger due to erosion that's threatening to undercut Beach Street.

Credit: Claudia Gonzalez
Waves at Pere Marquette

RELATED: Pere Marquette Park breakwall closing this week due to safety concerns

The greatest threat continues to be to Lake Michigan homes. It's why workers at Rollaway Movers in Grand Rapids are so busy.

"The lake is getting worse very quickly and so we're bidding a lot more right now," said Paul Grifhorst.

Rollaway Movers arrived at a property in Park Township just in time to save a cottage that's been in Caroline Genner's family since 1911.

"It was a close call," Genner said.

RELATED: Homeowners racing to protect lakeshore cottages from crashing waves

The cottage was pulled back from an ever eroding cliff high above Lake Michigan. It now sits on new footing 94 feet from the edge.

"It had a five-foot deck on the edge of it all the way around and that was already starting to go over," Genner said.

Rollaway Movers is lining up jobs up and down the lakeshore. Grifhorst expects to be moving a large home later this month, and will be likely offering the same service to homeowners in November too.

Caroline Genner says the shoreline at her property already shrunk 25 feet this year, and 180 feet since the 1970s.

She worries now about neighbors to the north and south of her whose homes are threatened by erosion.

"Every day you wonder if you're going to loose your home and my heart just breaks for them," Genners said.

The powerful winds hammering the lakeshore Tuesday aren't expected to let up until Wednesday. 


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