Hurricane Sandy hits Westlake and Bay Village.
Hurricane Sandy swept in across Lake Erie on the evening of Monday, October 29 and left in her wake damage from fallen trees, toppled utility poles , and downed wires in Westlake and Bay Village. Being on the lake, Bay was hit especially hard with over 85% of the homes losing power, leaving close to 5,500 residences without power, some for up to 6 days. Westlake also had a good portion of the community without electricity, were almost 8,700 homes are effected. Westlake service director Paul Quinn detailed some of storm damage at the Thursday, November 1 city council session. He reported that 243 trees had been recorded at that time with the probability of hundreds more yet unidentified in backyards and parks. He also said that sixteen light poles were down, closing a number of streets through the community.
The WBV Observer office in Bay Village was spared the fate of many in our community, as our power was restored several hours after going dark on Monday evening, Oct. 29. Although phone and internet were down for days, we had electricity and the latest issue of the Observer arrived hot off the presses Tuesday afternoon, ready to be delivered throughout Westlake and Bay. We roamed the storm-ravaged streets of the two cities for hours that day, peering in the windows of most of our hundreds of distribution locations in hopes of seeing movement inside. It was a tall order in Westlake; in Bay, an exercise in futility. Just getting around was a challenge in itself, with the darkened streets and unexpected roadblocks due to downed power lines. As each day passed, and we noticed or got word of another location rejoining the power grid, we would scurry over and drop a bundle of papers for our powerless neighbors to take home and read for entertainment or burn for warmth. And little by little, streets and homes began lighting up, stores – especially those selling groceries – filled with shoppers and by Monday night, one week removed from the storm, things were almost completely back to normal. We had managed to deliver papers to almost every one of the community locations that carry the Observer, and shot a number of cool pictures as we traveled around. Here are some of the scenes we – and other members of the community – captured in the days following the storm.
(click photo to enlarge)