Lorain County natives on the East Coast experienced the wrath of the “Frankenstorm” on Monday.
Uprooted trees filled the yard of 1992 Midview High School graduate Stephanie Johnston, who lives in Tuckerton, N.J., near the ocean.
“The wind’s pretty bad,” Johnston said. “Our lot is full of cedar trees and we’ve lost six of them so far — they’re being completely uprooted.”
Tuckerton and other New Jersey communities normally get protection from Long Beach Island, which has been covered with water, she said.
“Pretty much the ocean and bay are meeting each other,” she said. “It’s very eerie.”
“We’re still a couple hours away from the eye of the storm,” she said at 4:30 p.m.
Three hours later, she said the eye had passed, leaving roads full of water and some homes submerged to the second floor.
Her home — providing refuge to her family and a friend’s family — was safe on a little rise, although the electricity was out.
Johnston, her husband, Steven, and their four children took a peek outside during the calm that preceded the backside of the storm.
Many streets were filled with water and they were hoping the worst of the storm surge was over.
“The wind is picking up again,” she said about 8 p.m. “Atlantic City is still underwater and the islands are still under water.”
Others caught in the storm included Jeff and Joanne Baxter of Elyria, who were vacationing on the sixth floor of a beachfront hotel in Virginia.
“We made the reservations three months ago,” Baxter said. He said they carefully read all of the warnings and decided to stay put — a decision they did not regret.
“My wife loves a good storm,” Baxter said.
“Our worst time was Sunday,” Jeff Baxter said. “The wind was gusting and we had ponchos on and trouble walking.”
After the storm, there was excitement for surfers, he said.
“There must be 40 to 50 people on the beach,” he said. “The waves are as big as 10 feet.”
Also waiting out the storm was Pat McGowan, an Elyria real estate agent who was house-sitting and caring for her daughter Vanessa’s cat in Baldwin, N.Y., while she was on a cruise.
Her son, Commer McGowan, said he was grateful that one of his sister’s friends was keeping close tabs on their mom because the home is fairly close to the ocean.
“She doesn’t seem concerned and I said, ‘Mom, everyone says it’s going to be bad,’ ” McGowan said.
“I feel safe in my daughter’s house,” Pat McGowan said.
Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or email@example.com.