Sep 3, 2022
The barge is gone from Van Buren Point — and contrary to other reports, a resident said it did some damage.
One of two barges under tow from Erie, Pa. to Buffalo came free in heavy weather about midnight Wednesday and landed close to Gloria Lehner’s property. The barge was not removed until Thursday afternoon, due to continued windy conditions on Wednesday.
Reports in other media outlets Thursday indicated that no damage was done to the shoreline. Lehner begs to differ with that.
“It’s not safe and I lost land,” she said. “The top of my barge was lifting up my point.”
Lehner’s property is what she described as the very point of Van Buren Point. The barge shifted around while marooned there, causing erosion, Lehner said. At one time while the barge was there it was “so close to our sea wall, (it) literally vibrated cottage and windows,” she said.
“There was nothing natural about this. It was absolutely devastating for some of us,” she said.
Lehner shared some videos and photos with the OBSERVER, to help make her point about her damaged point at Van Buren Point.
One of the videos shows the bow of the barge grinding up against a lakeside cliff. Rubble from the cliff is visible on the ship. A photo shows cracks in the bedrock, allegedly left by the ship.
Lehner said she is going to call an insurance company to assess the damage, and added that she would consider bringing in a civil engineer as well.