Regional News | Article published Monday, January 26, 2004
14 rescued from ice chunks on Lake Erie
CATAWBA ISLAND, Ohio - Fourteen people had to be rescued from Lake Erie after high winds cracked the ice they were fishing on, separating it from Catawba Island, authorities said. No one was hurt or fell into the water.
Randy Riedmaier, assistant fire chief on Catawba Island, said the people were stranded on ice chunks floating up to 3 miles from the island.
A helicopter and an airboat completed the rescue at 7:10 p.m., about 90 minutes after a person stranded on the ice made an emergency call from a cell phone, said Cindy Marshall, petty officer 3rd class with the Coast Guard in Cleveland.
The rescue occurred a day after the Toledo area recorded the coldest temperature this winter and a day before the region braces for more sleet and snowfall.
The temperature dropped to minus 7 degrees early yesterday morning at Toledo Express Airport, said Paul Dornsife, a meteorologist for Accuweather, Inc., a forecasting firm in State College, Pa.
The area had not seen such cold weather since last year, when it dipped to minus 10 degrees on Jan. 27.
Prior to that, it had not reached minus 7 since 1999.
It should warm up today, Mr. Dornsife said, possibly getting up to 30 degrees. But dont plan on pleasant mid-day stroll, because chilly winds, sleet, and freezing rain are likely throughout the day.
Tomorrow, the messy mix of sleet and rain will probably change to snow, Mr. Dornsife said.
"Its hard to say how much well get, but it could be as much as 3 inches of accumulation," he said. "Its definitely going to feel like winter."