Superstorm Sandy: How She Affected Ohio
Lake Erie’s below-average water level spared much of Ohio’s Lake Erie coast in late October from receiving extensive damage due to Superstorm Sandy. Preliminary estimates show millions of dollars worth of infrastructure and boat losses occurred. The hardest hit areas were in Cuyahoga County, including the Cleveland Lakefront State Park sites of Edgewater and East 55th Street marinas.
At Edgewater Marina, docks and other infrastructure were destroyed. A total of 29 boats sank and more than 50 boats were extensively damaged. Insurance adjusters are still assessing whether or not the damaged boats are salvageable. It is estimated that 75 percent were beyond repair.
At East 55th Street Marina, the caissons that provide fishing access around the perimeter of the site were damaged, areas along the shore were scoured and large rocks were thrown into parking lots. Officials are still determining what repairs will be needed to the shoreline infrastructure. Other sites that received extensive damage include Whiskey Island Marina in Cleveland, and the Emerald Necklace and Rocky River marinas which are along the Rocky River.
Division of Watercraft officers, managers, and investigators spent approximately 110 hours assisting with damage assessment, documentation, and recovery issues. They also assisted the Division of Parks and Recreation with security issues for the first few weeks after the storm passed.
For the hardest hit areas, the ODNR Office of Coastal Management worked with the Division of Parks and Recreation and the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Adopt-a-Beach™ Program (www.greatlakes.org) to organize cleanup events which were held on Nov. 10 at eight public access sites. More than 120 people volunteered a total of 343 hours of time and collected approximately 6,600 pounds of debris.
During and after the storm, Office of Coastal Management staff were also in contact with each coastal county’s emergency management agency and many coastal communities to monitor erosion issues, shore structure damage, and debris washing ashore. Property owners who experienced damage or erosion are encouraged to contact the Office of Coastal Management at 419-626-7980 to schedule a free consultation with a coastal engineer to discuss potential solutions.
While the final price tag is yet unknown, the department is working with multiple partners, such as marina operators, boat owners, insurance adjusters, and ODNR Divisions of Watercraft, Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Coastal Management, on an action plan to address the damage that Superstorm Sandy inflicted.