BAY VILLAGE, Ohio– Melissa Smetana and sons, Kyan and Callum, celebrated their dog Marley’s 11th birthday at Columbia Park Beach in Bay Village.
“We don’t get hassled about the dogs and it’s just a great beach to come to.”
But Smetana said the beach isn’t anything like what it used to be, as this section of Lake Erie’s coastline has undergone major beach erosion because of heavy rains earlier this year.
“Normally, we have a ton of beach, like a ton of beach. And now, there’s literally no beach. And it’s really slick, there’s algae on the steps because it’s been wet for months.”
The Bay Village Police Department posted a water safety warning on its Facebook page, hoping to get the message out that this section of beach is not as safe as in years past.
“We want people to have fun, but also, we don’t want them to go down there if there’s any chance of them being harmed,” Lt. Calvin Holliday said.
Police posted photos of waves crashing over the stairs leading down to the lakefront. Rough waters are also responsible for eating away at the steep cliff side and rocks leading down to the lake.
“If you can’t see what’s in the water, you don’t know what’s under the surface. There could be some kind of debris floating so be very careful. Never go swimming alone, no matter how good a swimmer you think you are,” Holliday said.
As the only beach that allows dogs, Smetana said this will always be their family’s favorite beach on a hot summer day.
But in the back of her mind: “Just be careful, be aware. Use common sense.”