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  •  I Was On the Lakefront for That Storm. (17+ / 0-)

    Great story about your father. My late father was in at the same time, eventually sent to be a radio man at a base station in the Phillipines. He came back to work in the aerospace industry and then a NASA manned space engineer during the Moon landings and Skylab era.

    I was at Edgewater Park around west 67th st or so on the Cleveland lakefront for the July 4th 1969 storm.

    This was a month or so after the Cuyahoga River infamously burned, which was a precipitating factor for the Clean Water Act and contributed to the first Earth Day.

    Around 3 in the afternoon the barometric pressure made a huge, unprecedented drop. One of the sailmakers in the region had the tracing chart on their wall for years afterward. Nobody knew what to make of it since nothing meteorological happened at the time. But I think the water level in the marinas jumped up a couple feet.

    The weather was muggy and unsettled all day. The water was a bit choppy and there were storm warnings out, so by 7 PM there were fewer boats than usual out to watch the fireworks.

    I was in a car with my girlfriend when the opening thunder-shot of the fireworks display was fired. I don't think they ever got a 2nd shot off.

    The storm front winds blew in at over 70 knots, maybe over 80, so hard that with our car facing across the wind direction, spray blowing in the passenger window was blowing out the driver's window with both only halfway down. The car shook hard. At the yacht club just to the east, a sailboat was on a trailer up against the shelter of a garage at the edge of the breakwater, but the top 10' of its mast was exposed to the wind. There were 5 people hanging on the edge of the boat to keep the top end of the mast from kicking it over.

    Hundred year old trees in western suburbs of Rocky River and Lakewood, many along Lakewood's Clifton Boulevard, were toppled, in some cases with the roots turning an entire yard vertical. It took several days to clear all the roadways enough for efficient travel.

    The next day there was a debris field coming out of the mouth of the Cuyahoga River that filled much of the seawalled Cleveland Harbor and extended half a mile out into the lake or more.

    Just a few weeks later with pockets of debris still cluttering the beaches, breakwalls and marinas, we watched Neil Armstrong step out onto the Moon.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:00:02 AM PDT

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