NewsLocal News


Residents along Lake Erie weary as winter storm brings large waves, accelerating erosion

Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 09:28:54-05

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ohio — The waves fueled by another winter storm continue to pound lakeshore communities across Northeast Ohio, including those already dealing with historic erosion. Among the hardest hit communities is the Village of Geneva-on-the-Lake, which declared an ‘erosion emergency’ earlier this month.

The exact amount of additional erosion caused by this week’s storm and gale-warned winds remain to be seen, but if past storms are any indication, officials can expect another couple of feet of Geneva Township Park lost to Lake Erie.

“I come down to walk my dog just to see how bad it’s getting,” said Jim Heavner. “It’s kind of sad. I can remember as a kid going down there… you could go right down on the beach and fish and do whatever. It’s all gone now.”

Earlier this month, village officials estimated more than 45 feet of shoreline has eroded in February alone. So far this year, Heavner estimates close to 70 feet have been been lost. The erosion was created and later accelerated by historically high lake levels and a lack of ice coverage.

“I’ve literally watched chunks of dirt fall,” Heavner said. “Real estate, unfortunately, doesn’t re-grow itself.”

On March 17, voters will weigh in on a 1.25 mil tax levy that would raise money for erosion control measures at Geneva Township Park. If approved, the levy would add $42 a year on the tax bill for a $100,000 home. The levy would span five years.

The proceeds of the levy, if passed, would be used to construct a retaining wall in order to mitigate further erosion at the park.