Hurricane Sandy causes extreme high winds in NW Ohio

Waves crash over the Miller Boat Line on Catawba Island, as the effects of Hurricane Sandy are felt along the Lake Erie coastline in Ottawa County.
Waves crash over the Miller Boat Line on Catawba Island, as the effects of Hurricane Sandy are felt along the Lake Erie coastline in Ottawa County.

Hurricane Sandy's arrival on the East Coast is causing extreme high winds in Northwest Ohio, prompting communities to cancel various events and agencies to issue special precautions to motorists.

A high wind warning across northern Ohio has been issued through 4 p.m. Tuesday. Winds from 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 70 mph along the lake are possible through Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Cleveland has reported. A flood warning continues until 8 p.m. Tuesday for Ohio locations along the lakeshore.

Hurricane Sandy, bearing down on the East Coast, combined with a storm system in place over the northeastern United States, caused wind gusts up to 50 mph Monday afternoon at Marblehead Lighthouse, said meteorologist Karen Clark, with the NWS.

Rain was expected to move west into the area, and snow was possible early Tuesday morning in Bowling Green south to Findlay with little or no accumulation, Ms. Clark said. Tuesday is expected to bring widespread rain showers; temperatures in Toledo will be in the low 40s.

The weather caused travel advisories and cancellations throughout the region.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission issued a high wind ban from 5 p.m. today through 10 a.m. Tuesday, prohibiting some big trucks and trailers from traveling on the turnpike during that period.

Ohio Department of Transportation crews planned to watch the Toledo metro highway system for any debris, downed lines or other problems, as well as Veterans’ Glass City Skyway and the Sandusky Bay Bridge over the Sandusky Bay.

State routes 2 and 163 will be watched Tuesday for possible flooding along lakeshore routes, said officials from ODOT District 2 office in Bowling Green. The agency is asking drivers to regard intersections where traffic signals aren’t working as four-way stops and to be cautious if driving high-profile vehicles.

The high winds have prompted leaders in some northwest Ohio towns to postpone Trick or Treat celebrations.

Tiffin, Fostoria, Oregon, Milan, and Norwalk are among the cities that have pushed back Halloween from Tuesday and Wednesday until the weekend. Those with new Saturday hours include Fostoria, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Oregon from 6 to 8 p.m.; Norwalk from 6:30 until 8 p.m., and Milan from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Both the community of Woodville, and Allen Township in Ottawa County have also rescheduled their trick-or-treat events from Wednesday to Saturday, from 6 to 8 p.m. The Village of Genoa will now hold its Halloween from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

In Tiffin, the event has been pushed until 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The city of Port Clinton canceled its trick-or-treat event for Wednesday. The police department said it would announce a rescheduled day and time on Tuesday.

Miller Boat Line, which offers island ferry service, cancelled most of its trips today and planned to do the same Tuesday. Choppy conditions made it difficult to keep the boat at the dock safely for loading and unloading.

Some flights were called off at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Planes arriving or departing to East Coast destinations such as New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia were affected, said airport spokesman Michael Conway. He estimated less than 200 of the airport’s 1,400 arrivals and departures were cancelled.

Flights at Toledo Express Airport were not being affected by the storm, officials said.

Also canceled Tuesday was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mercy Emergency and Diagnostic Center in Perrysburg. The event would be rescheduled for sometime next week, said spokesman Sarah Bednarski.