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Geneva-on-the-Lake park eroding 3 feet a day, because of high water, lack of ice in Lake Erie


Feb. 13, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Geneva Township Park has lost 45 feet of land in the last 10 days because of erosion of high water and waves on Lake Erie.
About 600 feet of the park’s 916 feet of lakefront is affected, said Geneva-on-the-Lake village administrator Jeremy Shaffer. About 300 feet is eroding more than 3 feet a day, potentially affecting sewer lines, natural gas and more.
The damage started about Feb. 3, Shaffer said.
“What has happened is that Lake Erie hasn’t frozen over,” Shaffer said in a phone interview Thursdsay. “Water is crashing into shore and hitting areas it never hit before, and a lot of the earlier erosion control is now under water.”
Lake Erie rose 5 inches in January. By the end of the month, lake levels were 7 inches above last January’s. And by Monday, the lake broke the February high water record, set in 1987. It’s supposed to keep setting records through May.
Erosion is made worse by the lack of ice this winter. As of Monday, only .4 percent of Lake Erie had ice, compared to the average of 67 percent on Feb. 10. No ice means more waves pounding the shore all winter long, eroding away cliffs, washing out beaches and damaging shoreline infrastructure.
The village mayor, park board, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ashtabula County Soil & Water, Ashtabula County Emergency Management, fire department, village council and other officials met this week to discuss emergency erosion response to the Park and infrastructure damage. Costs are unknown, but could be more than $1.3 million.
The 3-acre park is east of the strip, Ohio’s first summer resort . The strip is not affected, since it’s a block from the lake. But parts of the Geneva State Park are also eroding.
The village has asked private homeowners to share descriptions of damage to their properties .
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