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Ohio


Lake Erie reaches dangerous water levels from Hurricane Sandy
Northeast Ohio is bracing for the weather effects from the hurricane.
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
and BRIAN BULL


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
Courtesy of Brian Bull
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In The Region:

The blasts of Hurricane Sandy are heading for Ohio.  Strong winds will be out of the north this evening and overnight as the counter-clockwise system stalls over western Pennsylvania.

John Mayers with the National Weather Service in Cleveland says flooding is likely along the Lake Erie shore where waves are now around 8 to 10 feet.

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"Those will continue to build upward 20- plus feet through the height of the storm, at least in our neck of the woods, through the evening and the early morning hours, tomorrow morning," Mayers says. "And there’ll be some coastal impacts as well on the south shore of Erie, so we’re expecting the water to rise, along the south shore, about three feet above normal." 

Lt. Monty Morgan with the Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers that heavy rains tonight will cause flooding on some roadways.

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(0:15)

“That’s why we want to caution people to be aware of travels through areas that normally accumulate water, to pass through those areas with extreme caution," Morgan says. "If there’s water on the roadway, turn around and go back.  Don’t attempt to cross it.”

The National Weather Service is cautioning drivers of high-profile vehicles to avoid traveling tonight due to sustained winds of 30- 40 mph and gusts up to 70 mph.

As Hurricane Sandy rolls across the Northeast, cargo shipping across the Great Lakes has largely taken to safe harbor.

Glen Nekvasil is Vice-President of the Lake Carriers Association.  It represents nearly five dozen U.S. flag-bearing freighters and ore carriers in the Great Lakes.

He says most American, and Canadian ships are either in or chugging towards port to avoid the heavy rains, winds, and potentially 33-foot tall waves.  He says every captain must decide whether to press on or set anchor.

Hear Vice-President of the Lake Carriers Association Glen Nekvasil 
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"The waves and the fluxuating water levels when you are in shallow water, those are the issues. Weather is difficult to predict, as we all know," Nekvasil says. "The U.S. Coast Guard is always prepared to do search and rescue missions." 

Some forecasts say winds between 40 to 70 miles per hour are expected through the Great Lakes region.  Nekvasil wouldn’t say just when he expects shipping traffic to resume normal levels this week.
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