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Erosion worries keeps masonry business busy up the shore

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TOFTE, MN -- Though beautiful, the waves of Lake Superior can be harmful to any landscape.

"The lake is just tremendously powerful, it took out our fire pit three different times and it did eat away at our grassy area," said Tofte homeowner, Wayne.

Wayne's home is no stranger to erosion.

"Right now, the lake level is so high that's what is creating most of the problem," said Wayne.

Wayne's home isn't the only one experiencing the issue.

"This has become very popular, we have about five other jobs currently going on up the shoreline," said Dean Johnston with Johnston Masonry.

Among other services, the business specializes in seawall erosion prevention.

Johnston adds they've been pretty busy lately and the types of walls they build include drainage systems, so as the waves hit the shore, it flushes back out.

"We excavate this earth back and we form a double-sided wall here and pin it into the lead rock," said Johnston.

The seawall is 14 inches thick and an investment that Johnston said is worth the price, "people have a ton of money invested in their homes."

The wall is said to last 100 years.

Without some sort of protection, things could have ended badly for Wayne.

"In another two to three years, this deck would have been gone."

So far this year, Johnston Masonry has built eight seawalls with more scheduled in the spring.

Lyanne Valdez

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