Heading west from 24th Pl. and Princeton Ave. in Chicago’s Chinatown, Haiting Yu walks through an underpass with rusty-looking infrastructure and cracks on the wall. A few feet into the tunnel, a light blinks. Some are completely out.
Feeling water dripping down from above, Yu picks up her pace.
“You have to be careful when you cross the underpass, especially at night,” she says. “People will take your bags.”
Lake Michigan’s water levels have risen significantly since hitting an all-time low two years ago. Levels are three feet higher than they were in January 2013. The resurgence of water has had a positive effect on commercial shipping, recreational boaters and our ecosystems. However, not all the effects have been positive. The increased water levels have led to significant erosion that has depleted Chicago beaches and may damage unprotected shoreline properties throughout the summer.