High winds, waves cause lakeshore evacuations, road closures

LUNA PIER, MI (WTOL) - High winds kicking up high waves on Friday prompted flood watches and advisories, evacuations, and road closures throughout the lakeshore area.

In Luna Pier, fire and police were present evacuated dozens of residents. Fire Chief Robert Dinius said nearly 50 people were evacuated from their homes. Waves were seen crashing up against the break wall and flowing into backyards.

Houses in the same area were damaged by 3 to 4 inches of rain and high lake shore flooding a few weeks ago. All of the houses right along the shoreline currently have a couple of feet of water in them.

Luna Pier Mayor Dave Davison expressed his dismay over the repeat damage.
"It's very frustrating and there's going to be some research done (into) if there's any way through the locks system through the Great Lakes if there's a way to lower the lake level here in Lake Erie at this time."

Further south, the city of Toledo issued flood controls. Flooding was reported in Point Place due to both wave action on Lake Erie and river levels rising five feet in a span of three hours. Structures on Edgewater Drive and 121st Street flooded.

Toledo Sewer and Drainage Services employees placed six pumps in the area, in addition to the two already in place on Edgewater Drive.

The Division of Water Reclamation employees are operating six of the underground pump stations in Point Place to pump surface water from the storm water collection system back into waterways.

City of Toledo Streets, Bridges, and Harbor employees have installed and closed the flood gates in Point Place.

A city spokesman also stated the Bay View Water Treatment Plant is running at about double its dry weather flow capacity.

The city also noted that the Cullen Park Boat Ramp is closed.

We just spoke to the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) and here's the latest.

In Ottawa County, the flooding caused the evacuation of the boardwalk at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, according to Ohio Division of Wildlife. As a precaution, a group of about 100 birders left the area ahead of potential flood hazards. The road to the boardwalk will remain closed until further notice.

The ODW said Friday afternoon that Magee Marsh may be open as early as Saturday afternoon, with the winds predicted to shift and push water back out into the lake. Pumps are being set up. There will still be access to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and Migratory Bird Center. The road into the Metzger Preserve is closed as the agency evaluates the condition of the road.

Also on Friday afternoon, State Route 2 was closed at State Route 18.

At the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the Wildlife Drive has been rerouted to exit on Krause Road due to the flooded roads.

At 2:20 p.m. the Miller Ferry announced that ferry service was suspended for the rest of the day. Operators said that the forecast looks favorable for operations to be back on schedule Saturday morning.

Access to Cedar Point is also affected by the high winds and flooding. Due to high water levels and strong winds coming out of the north, Cedar Point Road (Chaussee) is closed to all vehicular traffic from the 400 to 600 block area until further notice.

City of Sandusky officials advise planning a route around the closure. "We ask residents who reside in this area to use extreme caution when traveling the roadway. We will update the public when the roadway has been opened back up to vehicular traffic," the city stated.

Cedar Point remains open via the causeway, but the amusement park said the Marina and Famous Dave's Restaurant are both closed. Both are to reopen on Saturday, weather permitting.

Sandusky City Police say all of the streets directly next to Sandusky Bay have standing water, but none of those roads are closed.

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