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Storms Worsen Erosion In Geneva-On-The-Lake, With 50 Feet Lost So Far

The Township Park Board put up caution tape to keep people away from the areas of concern, but another six feet of land has fallen into the lake since this Feb. 18 photo was taken.
Tim Dubravetz
/
ideastream
The Township Park Board put up caution tape to keep people away from the areas of concern, but another six feet of land has fallen into the lake since this Feb. 18 photo was taken.

Severe erosion continues in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, where an additional 5-6 feet of lakefront was lost to Lake Erie during storms Wednesday.

“It looks like a bomb went off,” Village Administrator Jeremy Shaffer said.

The shoreline along Geneva Township Park had already lost more than 40 feet earlier this month.

“Before there was a few points in the erosion where the land was still intact, now it’s more concave toward the park,” Shaffer said. “And it’s all slid. We’re having more sliding on the western slope.”

That slide took with it more vegetation and plant material, which usually helps hold the land in place. Old Lake Road, which runs near the shoreline at that western slope, also includes utility lines. The village is monitoring the lines for safety.

There’s also potential for more land loss this weekend, Shaffer said, with more rain in the forecast.

“It seems like every time that the bank softens and it’s not frozen and the waves hit it, it’s just pulling more away each time,” Shaffer said. “We’ll definitely be out there all weekend checking it out.”

Township Park has seen the worst of the erosion damage. The park’s board met Monday to discuss an application for a temporary permit from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to build erosion protections, and will move forward on an additional permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

The board will then open bids for the construction of emergency erosion protections, Shaffer said, including armor stone at the base of 600 ft. of shoreline.

“They hope to bid it out and hopefully open bids in the middle or end of March, that’s kind of the plan at this point,” Shaffer said.

The entire shoreline is on high alert in Geneva Township Park as dramatic erosion problems continue, threatening gas and sewer lines and Old Lake Road.
Credit Tim Dubravetz / Ideastream
The entire shoreline is on high alert in Geneva Township Park as dramatic erosion problems continue, threatening gas and sewer lines and Old Lake Road.

The village and park are seeking emergency funding for the work, and have a levy on the March ballot. Village officials met with ODNR and state Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) to discuss options. The village hopes to have a more secure plan to address the accelerated erosion within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the park board has put up additional caution tape to keep people away from the areas of concern, Shaffer said, and the village ran a drain through some portions of the bluffs most dramatically impacted by the erosion. But those fixes are temporary, he said.

The innermost point of land loss is nearly 50 feet, Shaffer said.