By Jeff Gallatin
City officials Monday expected one set of problems related to Hurricane Sandy to be ending shortly, with others to continue for at least two weeks.
“We’re down to 34 homes without power,” Mayor Debbie Sutherland said late Monday morning. “We continue to have power crews working in the city, so we hope to have those homes back up shortly.”
Sutherland said at the peak of dealing with the storm’s problems, about 85 percent of city homes and buildings were without power.
“They were restored as quickly as possible,” she said. “The power companies restore them with the health-related structures and medical emergencies first, then the safety forces.”
Sutherland said some people should always find a way to contact utilities to let them know their power is down.
“We had places they didn’t know about as late as Saturday,” she said. “You have to let the utilities know. Sometimes, some people think that the utilities have some big board where they can see that this individual residence just went out. That’s not the case. You have to let them know.”
She said cleanup work will be steady – but not over quickly.
“Right now, we’re estimating that it’s going to be two weeks,” she said. “We’re asking people to haul their brush to the curb. We also asking them to try and keep it out of the leaf piles, so it doesn’t hinder that work. They’re working nine-hour days right now, and I would expect they will be out this Saturday as well.”
She said City Hall was still utilizing a generator with the Dwyer Center still hampered as well.
“There are trucks working on them,” she said. “We were without power, phone lines, the internet and computers for several days at the city building and police station.”
She said City Hall did have roof leaks and other storm damage as well. The cupola installed on the Community House during Bicentennial activities also had leaks in it, she said.
Sutherland noted that at one one time, she sent out some of the Nixel emergency bulletins from a city business which still had internet access.”
City official moved trick or trick activities from Wednesday to Sunday and still had some concerns as Sunday approached.
“We still had power out in places and there’s a lot of debris from storms,” Sutherland said. “But there were no problems. It turned out to be a good diversion for kids and their parents.”
Bay Village Fire Chief Chris Lyons said his crews were kept busy throughout the time period, noting that they had received in excess of 60 calls Monday night and Tuesday morning when the wind and rain caused by Sandy initially began hitting the city.
“We’re a tree city, so there are a lot of trees in the city and a lot of them went down, which caused a lot of the power and damages problems for residents,” he said.
Lyons said there were no deaths or critical injuries.
“I’m thankful for that,” he said.
Sutherland said city officials are continuing to assess the cost of the damages.
Bay Village School Superintendent Clint Keener said the district’s damage was not severe.
“We don’t have any long-lasting physical damage to repair,” he said. “We did lose a lot of food that was in our coolers. Thankfully, another school district, Clearview(In Lorain County) stored our frozen foods for us, which saved us some money. But unfortunately, food that is in coolers goes bad pretty fast without power and it did.”
Keener said with no power, he went to other communities to file computer updates.
Keener said with four days off, the district already has put a large dent in it’s calamity days.
“We only have one left now,” he said. “If we have more than that the rest of the year, we’ll have to make it up after the first week in June.”
Bay Community Services Director Debbie Bock said she was continuing to visit and check on seniors.
“It was tough for them, and we did have the community room set up at the police station for anybody who needed shelter,” she said. “But, the World War II, greatest generation people are pretty amazing. They largely just adapted and toughed it out.”
Frank Colosimo, visitor experience and communication coordinator at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, said it did not have any major damages.
“We didn’t have any trees or anything big go down, hit something and cause any damages,” he said. “We did lose some salt water fish in their displays. Unfortunately, they’re pretty sensitive to temperature change, so when the power went out it was bad for them.”
Nancy Heaton said the BAYarts campus suffered minor damages.
“We had some flooding in the basement of our pottery studio that normally would have been taken care of by a sump pump, but we had no power until Friday afternoon. It’s all cleaned up now. It was an in between-type week, so we had some classes cancelled, but not as many as other weeks.”