OGDEN DUNES, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana town along Lake Michigan has approved spending $150,000 for expert input and emergency repairs to protect homes from sliding into the water.
It could take up to $10 million to rebuild the seawall that is meant to protect homes on the east side of Ogden Dunes, according to Rodger Howell, who heads a beach protection committee.
In the meantime, officials and homeowners in the town about 25 miles southeast of Chicago are scrambling for a short-term relief. Residents of Ogden Dunes have already filed a federal lawsuit over its battle with shoreline erosion.
“Homes could actually suffer damage in the next storm or two," said Howell, according to The (Northwest Indiana) Times. “Something's going to fail really bad in the next storm or two.”
During recent high waves the sheet metal “was just flapping in the waves like a piece of tin foil in the wind.”
Even though the barrier protects both town property and private homes, the work has historically been paid for by residents. But Roger Rhodes, the town's assistant building commissioner, worries residents may not be able to afford the work for long.
Town officials have discussed other funding options. Councilwoman Carolyn Saxton suggested the town could pay for the repairs and be reimbursed by homeowners. The town currently has enough money in two funds to cover the urgent repairs, said Jenna Manna, who serves as clerk and treasurer.