By KATE HABREL
Capital News Service
LANSING — You can watch how water flows through the Straits of Mackinac with an online animation that shows how it switches directions and reaches speeds as fast as some Great Lakes rivers. The animations are produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While they’re not updated in real time, they’re meant to show the predictability of the currents in the Straits. And that’s important to help freighter captains predict the speed and direction of currents through the region and for search and rescue operations to find lost people and boats. “We got a lot of press calls about the Straits and people wanting information,” said Kaye LaFond, a NOAA graphic designer who created the page.