Man with Parkinson’s watching his home inch closer to the water

Posted at 9:59 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 00:13:12-04

NORTON SHORES, Mich-- While some were out kayaking out in the large waves on Lake Michigan, for others, it's a reminder of their homes inching closer to the water.

That's the case for Vance Smith. When he and his wife moved to their home about 30 years ago, they had a lovely beach to look at. Now, the water laps the shoreline.

“We’re way off worse than we were at any time in the past," says homeowner Vance Smith.

Just a few days ago, the second half of Smith's deck collapsed and washed right out into the water, leaving behind a much different view than he's used to.

It's extra stress for Smith, who's battling Parkinson's Disease.

"There’s hardly a time where you don’t think about it," says Smith. "It’s terribly depressing."

Smith is just one of many homeowners experiencing this kind of erosion and beach loss.

FOX 17 reached out to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy who provided us with the following statement:

“Shoreline water levels and the impact on property is of concern to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. We work collaboratively with residents and landowners to find short- and long-term solutions for protecting property and the environment. As water levels continue to remain high, please contact the Grand Rapids EGLE Office with concerns and questions about submitting an application to plan ahead for future efforts to mitigate possible impacts.”