The winds and high water have surged to one of it’s highest levels in recorded history and effectively dividing Put-in-Bay into two islands. After a widespread April Fools Joke the Put-in-Bay Tunnel went viral, Put-in-Bay Residents are wishing this mid-April news story was a joke as well. Unfortunately, it’s not.
40 MPH plus winds have driven water over seawalls, into streets, businesses and several homes making the passage from the eastern point of South Bass Island into town impossible in all but a boat or a very highly lifted 4X4. Island residents Kim & Ryan Stoiber were on opposite sides of the island this Sunday morning as Kim Stoiber attempted to get to work in the family owned and popular Frosty
Family Pizza for breakfast. Ryan Stoiber, a 40 plus year Put-in-Bay Resident stated:
“In my 40 years at Put-in-Bay I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Put-in-Bay Ferry service has been suspended since midday on Saturday as waves have submerged docks and created hazardous conditions both in Catawba Island the ferry’s loading point and at Put-in-Bay.
Hydraulic systems on one of the ferry boats loading ramps were damaged. Two of the Put-in-Bay ferries spent the entire night at rest on the back side of the island behind the South Bass Island State Park at Put-in-Bay where calmer waters and the island land mass provided a safe harbor. Crews spent the night on both vessels maintaining watches.
Miller Ferry President William “Billy” Market was unable to confirm when or if the ferry would be making any trips today as the winds and high water continued to batter the island this morning.
Residents and tourists who are stranded on the island will not be without something to do however as the annual tradition of the “Whisky Light” is scheduled for this afternoon at the Roundhouse Bar although it is unknown if the scheduled entertainers made it to the island before the suspension of ferry service.
Put-in-Bay and Lake Erie Fishermen are urged to exercise caution for several days after the winds and high water subsides as the surging then receding water will carry logs and debris into that water creating hazardous conditions.
According to the Lake Erie wind forecast, high winds with gusts in excess of 30 MPH are expected to continue until later into to Tuesday.