LANSING, Mich. — A group of Michigan State Senators have now joined a chorus of lawmakers urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency for the entire Lake Michigan shoreline because of beach erosion.
Six state senators signed a letter, which was sent to Whitmer Tuesday.
"The pictures and videos we have seen from the news and in person is truly heartbreaking," the letter read. "Homes have literally fallen into the lake, tremendous damage has been done at state and country parks, roads have been closed because they are unsafe to drive on and business have had to close or have been severely affected by wind-driven water."
Last week, a group of 12 state representatives also sent a letter to the governor.
A state of emergency will unlock state funding to address the issue of shoreline erosion. The Lake Michigan shoreline was battered this fall because of several strong storms that were coupled with near-historic high water levels.
Shoreline homeowners have been scrambling over the past couple of months to protect their properties. Some have moved their homes back from the shoreline, some have built seawalls and one demolished a cottage that was on the brink of falling into the water.
"Mother Nature has truly been unforgiving and relentless for tens of thousands of Michigan citizens," the letter sent to the governor said.
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy did alter the permit process for lakeshore homeowners who are doing work to protect their property. But the state senators and representatives are urging for more help, on the state level.
State Sens. Roger Victory, Kim LaSata, Aric Nesbitt, Jon Bumstead, Curtis Vanderwall and Wayne Schmidt signed the letter.
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