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Heavy rains in recent weeks could cause spike in Lake Erie algae this summer

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TOLEDO, Ohio — Heavy rains that have fallen across northern Ohio in recent weeks are washing more phosphorus into the rivers that flow into Lake Erie.

And that could cause a spike in the amount of algae in the lake later this summer.

Researchers now say algae blooms could be worse than what they'd predicted a few weeks ago. They say that blooms aren't expected to be as bad as the one in 2011 that stretched from Toledo to Cleveland.

An algae outbreak last August contaminated public drinking water supplies for more than 400,000 people in Toledo and parts of southeastern Michigan.

Algae is recent years has been blamed for turning water in the Lake Erie's western basin green and contributing to dead zones where fish can't survive because of oxygen depletion.

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