Rock Hall nearly swamped, waves close Shoreway, winds near hurricane force

CLEVELAND - Hurricane Sandy left its mark. Thousands without power. Waves swamping nearly highways. Winds gusting to near hurricane force all night long. Torrential downpours.

If you think I'm talking about the East Coast, think again. A large portion of Hurricane Sandy's wrath was felt right here in northern Ohio on Monday and overnight.

As winds from Sandy raged overhead, Twitter and Facebook lit up with interesting reports.

Winds gusted out of the north to near 70 mph along Lake Erie, pushed loads of water up against the the shoreline.

At one time, water levels reached up to just two feet below the top of the walls protecting Cleveland Browns Stadium and nearby buildings. Water came dangerously close to topping the wall and flooding the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the nearby Great Lakes Science Center.

At 3 a.m. Tuesday, a NewsChannel5 photojournalist reported seeing visible wind damage to Rock Hall. Some under siding was torn off.

Later in the morning, a Rock Hall spokeswoman said damage to the building is "superficial," and that there is no flooding and the damage is not structural.

The Rock Hall will open one hour late Tuesday at 11 a.m. Rock Hall spokeswoman Margaret Thresher said the damage to the building is "superficial, not structural."

As @annkpowers tweeted out: "(That's) Bad news. Much of the collection is on lowest level."

@madameduran added her insight in this tweet about the Rock Hall: "That's the penalty for not inducting a certain Canadian band into RnR Hall of Fame. Fear the wrath of RUSH!!! ;)"

Another great photo on Twitter demonstrated the shear power of the wind and Lake Erie waves. The photo above from Kody Herchler @kodestroke , shows waves crashing onshore near the East 55th Street Marina and blasting some 30 feet in the air, up and over rush hour traffic on Interstate 90. Just incredible.

One tweet claimed a 72 mph wind gust in Mentor-on-the-Lake. After some questioning, I learned it was a private weather station in Mentor-on-the-Lake. The anemometer was about 20 feet off the ground. Although not official, its entirely possible that a gust above 70 did occur somewhere in Northern Ohio last night at the height of the storm.

Official wind gusts from the storm overnight include: 68 mph at Cleveland Hopkins Airport; 67 mph at Burke Airport; 58 mph at Lorain County Airport; & a 48 mph wind gust at the Akron/Canton Regional Airport.

You too can join in on the conversation: Follow me on Twitter @MarkJweather 

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