July 28, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy
68°F
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Lorain County natives ride out terrifying storm system on coast

The nightmare is over for three Lorain County natives on the East Coast who survived Hurricane Sandy.

In Tuckerton, N.J., Midview High graduates Steven and Stephanie Johnston were thrilled to get electricity restored after 28 hours without it.

The most frightening moment occurred when the storm surge crept close to their home Monday evening, she said.

“The surge came up the street like a river,” she said.

The family’s home on a little rise was spared, but other parts of town were devastated, she said.

“I’ve talked to several friends who lost everything,” Johnston said. “Another girlfriend had three or four feet of water inside her home.”

Stranded boats were left around town like discarded toys.

“There was a 30-foot boat in front of the police station,” Johnston said.

Flooding was also an issue in the backyard of her parents, Pete and Barb Elek, on Southwood Drive in Carlisle Township.

The water crept closer to the home from a field in the backyard than it ever has in a quarter century, she said.

Meanwhile, Elyria real estate agent Pat McGowan was safe at her daughter’s house in Baldwin, N.Y., which is on Long Island, according to her son, Commer McGowan.

He said he last spoke to his mother after power went out about 8 p.m. Monday. She was calm and planned to go to bed, he said.

Commer McGowan wasn’t able to speak to his mother again on Tuesday because cell phone service is out in the area, but a friend living nearby was in touch with her and available to help if needed.

His mom was housesitting for his sister Vanessa, who was expected to catch a flight back today.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.