The winds and high water have surged to one of its highest levels in recorded history and effectively dividing Put-in-Bay into two islands. After a widespread April Fools Joke, the Put-in-Bay Submarine went viral, Put-in-Bay Residents also wish this mid-April news story was a joke. 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 were on opposite sides of the island this morning, and one resident was quoted stating
“In my 40 years at Put-in-Bay I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Put-in-Bay Ferry service has been suspended 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 backside of the island behind the South Bass Island State Park at Put-in-Bay where calmer waters and the island landmass 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 weekend 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 the day.
Update To Wind and High Water at Put-in-Bay May 2019
Put-in-Bay dodged another bullet on Mother’s Day Sunday. A few days before, the weather forecast was for several hours of sustained winds over 30 miles an hour out of the northeast. It looked like it would be the worst storm of the spring. Fortunately, the weather forecast got better and better and by Sunday, the winds were blowing at only 20 mph or so out of the northeast. The predicted nor’ easter had fizzled out.
The water in front of the monument on the road leading to East Point was still flooded but it was nowhere near what it could have been. A few days before, another nor’ easter hit the island, and we noticed a vehicle stranded in the high water on Route 357 by the Perry International Peace Memorial Monument. It was one of the many cars and trucks that drive through the flooded area each time there is a nor’ easter. So far, most of them have made it through safely, but there are exceptions.
If you were one of the drivers either coming from or going to East Point, you probably wondered if your car or truck would make it through. If it didn’t make it through, you would have had to leave and wade through the water to a high spot. This time of year, the water is still freezing, but probably not enough to give you hypothermia as you make your way to high ground. One young island family actually had their car stall out while trying to get by the Monument and had to get out of their car and wade through the water with their toddler to safety.
A question came up; How much water can a car drive through before it is unsafe? That’s an excellent question, and thankfully, the Internet was there to provide us with an answer. On almost every website, the maximum safe depth to drive through was about 4 inches before damage could be done to a car. Drivers really need to know the risks they take for both themselves and their vehicles, so here are some precautions you might consider…..
1. Take an alternative route. Never drive through deep, flooded roads if you can avoid them. It’s better to add a few extra minutes to your journey rather than risk your car’s engine and electrics being ruined or stalling out and being stranded.
2. Check the water depth Unless you’re driving a high-riding 4×4, the maximum depth most experts advise you to drive a standard car through is four inches. Modern cars are generally water-tight, so they can start to float when driven through water that’s only 30cm deep.
3. Let oncoming vehicles pass Wait for oncoming cars to get through the flood patch before you head into it, especially if they’re large vehicles or are traveling fast because they could soak your vehicle and cause it to break down.
4. Drive the highest point of the road At the Monument, for example, vehicles have been trying to ride with one wheel up on the sidewalk.
That’s another reason to wait for oncoming cars to get out of the way before attempting to cross floodwater.
5. Don’t drive too fast Drive through floodwater slowly – 3-4mph is an adequate speed. If you go too fast you’ll also run the risk of your car’s tires losing their contact with the road. If this happens, don’t brake; just take your foot off the accelerator, keep the steering wheel straight, and wait for the grip to return.
6. Don’t stop Although you should drive slowly, it’s important not to let the car come to a halt while crossing deep water because
that could allow water to get into the exhaust pipe, which can cause costly damage. Keep the engine revs up, too. If you’re driving an automatic, select the lowest possible held gear and keep your foot on the accelerator.
7. Dry your car’s brakes. Gently press your car’s brakes a few times once you’re clear of the flood – and in a safe place to do so – to
dry them off and ensure they respond efficiently.
What to do if you’re stuck in floodwater If the worst happens, and your car gets stuck in deep water, stay inside it and phone for help. Don’t get out or open the hood; you could worsen the initial damage. Don’t try to restart the engine either, as that could suck water into the engine. Help can be called. Insurance Coverage- If your car is damaged in deep water, you are covered for this peril by your insurance if you have comprehensive coverage after you pay your deductible. Better yet, don’t drive through deep water!