Following a Jan. 23 flood, the Chagrin River in Eastlake has lowered to about 9 feet deep. Optimal safe levels are around 6 or 6 1/2 feet.
According to Mayor Dennis Morley, the river had surged to about 14 to 15 feet after a thaw. A combination of rain, warm temperatures and melting snow had clashed with the ice near the mouth of the river.
“It was 14- to 15-foot high with the ice chunks, so it was 3- or 4-foot from the top of the (Lakeshore Boulevard) bridge,” Morley said. “Not been like that for a long, long time.”
A city Twitter post stated that the water had come over the banks and was at 10 feet high around the time a reverse-911 call was issued.
“There was about two or three feet of water on West Island and Admiral (Drive),” the mayor added, “so we had to send the fire department in there with our boats to get people out who needed out.”
Morley said that about six families left their homes and went to the Eastlake Police Activities League to avoid the water. He mentioned that the flooding calmed down around 11 p.m. that night. Firefighters and police had helped during the situation.
“Usually we get one to two thaws a year,” Morley said. “Last year was a weird year, we had five thaws. But again, we’re all used to it. It doesn’t make us any happier that it happens, but we have all kinds of good plans in place now… So we were ahead of it instead of behind.”
Reverse-911 calls were issued around 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 to advise residents of the high water.
“Everyone who lives in the area, obviously, is always aware of the river at this point in time,” the mayor added.