‘We felt powerless’

City couple watches as Lake Erie waves damage their home

Submitted photos Kathy Kern stands outside of the beach house owned by she and her husband, Al. The home sustained water damage from the Lake Erie waves.

City residents Al and Kathy Kern watched helplessly as their beach home, near the Dunkirk Lighthouse, was overtaken by the powerful waves that were whipping after nearly 70 mph gusts on Lake Erie from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning. By the end of the two-day storm, the house was filled with three inches of water, destroying the floors in every downstairs room in the house.

“The worst part of it is watching it happen and knowing you can’t do anything about it,” Kathy said. “We live a couple blocks away from the house and came out to see what was going on and had to watch the house being overtaken with the waves. It was scary and we felt powerless.”

Owners of 134 North Point Drive, the couple report the “hundred year storm” that occurred last year, happened again this past weekend.

While the couple does not live in the beach front property, they rent it out as an Airbnb, where visitors from as far away as China and Australia have rented as well as those closer to him in Dunkirk who needed a mini vacation. “We had to cancel three reservations so far because of the flooding and insurance doesn’t cover lost revenue,” Kathy explained.

While waiting for the insurance money, the couple has started to clean the property and they report that it is all mud. Though it’ll take some time to rebuild and repair, the couple is grateful that what happened wasn’t any worse.

Water surrounds the beach home of Al and Kathy Kern.

“Thankfully we do have flood insurance though and now we just have to wait for it to kick in so we can start repairing,” she said.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today