Portage, Indiana declares emergency at lakefront due to rising Lake Michigan

PORTAGE, Ind. (WLS) -- A northwest Indiana city has become the latest lakefront community to declare an emergency due to rising Lake Michigan.

Portage's new mayor, Sue Lynch, said Friday that the declaration is needed to protect the city's shoreline and the nearby Indiana Dunes National Park.

"Indiana Dunes National Park is a gem and it must be protected," Lynch said. "I am declaring this emergency because we need to act before it is too late. I am calling on the state and federal governments to work with surrounding communities to address this serious public safety issue."

Some sections of Portage's lakefront have lost as many as 40 feet of beach due to the damaging waves.

The goal of the declaration is to try and open up state and federal funding to help manage the damage.

The emergency will remain in effect for seven days.

The Board of Public Works and Safety will consider extending the emergency indefinitely at its meeting January 14.
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