Nor'easter forces evacuation of Magee Marsh

Nor'easter forces evacuation of Magee Marsh

OTTAWA COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Crashing waves all day Friday along the Lake Erie shoreline.

They were caused by a relentless, pounding Nor'easter.

Residents say you don't have to be a weatherman to know what's going on.

"This Northeast wind causes the lake to rise and I think the levels have been higher than normal," said Charles Sheehan.

But the Nor'easter ruined a perfect day for bird watching at Magee Marsh.

The Ohio Division of Wildlife ordered the evacuation of 400 birders.

"It was different. I've never been up here when they actually evacuated before so that was interesting," said Jennifer Suydam.

The roadway to the back of the marsh was closed for safety reasons.

Wildlife officials feared the ongoing Nor'easter would push the lake over the beach, swamping the back parking lot, marshland and famous birders boardwalk.

"Just with the lake levels being high any Northeast wind we have now is going to shove the water into the area," said Patrick Baranowski of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Birders though took the inconvenience in stride.

They'll just move to another area with their cameras and binoculars.

"There are plenty of places to see great birds. The Metroparks of Toledo. Get out to those areas. Good birding there," said Kim Kaufman of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.

Wildlife officials say Magee Marsh could re-open as early as Saturday afternoon.

Birders though still have access to the observatory and the Migratory Bird Center.

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