Anyone who has lived in Sodus Point knows that sudden, very violent, storms can happen here during the summer months. Bordering both Sodus Bay and Lake Ontario means that our village is subject to unabated winds. In the summer of 2013, we had one such storm that the local weatherman called “the worst storm in 10 years”.
My wife and I were out in the Bay in our pontoon boat when it hit. We were coming back into the Sodus Marina (on Friday July 19th around 7:30 PM) because I did not like the looks of the clouds. I had my boat’s radio tuned to the Marine Weather Channel and the forecast was calling for occasional showers the following morning. We were only about 6 minutes from the marina when we got a shrill tone on our radio and received an ominous message of “Severe Thunderstorm Warning”. We had only 3 minutes warning before the storm hit. The winds went from about 10 MPH to 70 MPH in about 30 seconds. Looking forward, I could see the top of waves being sheared off by the power of the wind. The wind almost immediately tore the canvas from the back of my Bimini top. It was everything I could do to keep the 21 foot pontoon boat heading into the wind. I felt that if the wind hit us broad side, we would capsize. After 5 long, scary minutes we entered the relative safety of our marina. Even here the winds were about 50 MPH and we could not maneuver our boat into its slip. Five people at the marina saw our plight and came to our rescue. We tossed them each a line and they attempted to pull us into two adjacent empty slips. Even with their help, it still took 10 long, tense minutes before we were tied up at a slip. Thank God for the goodness of people during a crisis!
My poor boat! As it turned out, we had a local guy (Thanks Rusty!) repair it for a very reasonable price within a couple of days.
When we got back home (up near the golf course) we were without electricity for about 6 hours. A number of trees were down in our neighborhood and several nearby streets were blocked. We didn’t know it at the time, but some areas in Sodus Point had seen much more severe damage.
Alice and Ethan Irwin (who live on the lake several miles west of Sodus Point) had significant damage on their property. Trees and limbs came down on their 4 wheeler, Firebird and their truck. Ouch!!!! Fortunately no one was hurt!
Alice and Ethan’s neighbors also took significant damage during the storm:
But the summer storms were not done with us yet. On July 30, 2013 around 8:30 AM, Alice Irwin took these 2 photos of funnel clouds on Lake Ontario off of Sodus Point. When funnel clouds like this reach the lake they become waterspouts.