Perkins Woods on Jan. 12 Photo by Mary Mumbrue

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The subject heading on Charles West’s Saturday evening email was succinct: “Lee Street Beach is gone.”

High waves on Lake Michigan pounded Evanston’s shores. Just before 7 p.m. on Jan. 11, Mr. West wrote, “I just left Lee Street beach and the sand is covering the sidewalk. The waves are huge.”

Later he wrote, “It was beautiful.”

Earlier that afternoon, less than a mile north, Donald Terras, the keeper of the Grosse Point Light Station, was in the thick of the storm surge.

“The lake was kicked up higher than I have ever seen it – and that takes in quite a bit of time,” he wrote in an email to the RoundTable.

The water at the base of the stairs leading down to the beach “went up to my knees as I tried to slosh back to dry land before I got hit again.  I turned around and took this shot [see below] the last second before heading home for the lighthouse to get on some dry clothes.”

The air was calmer on Jan.12; the waves were still strong but not as high as the day before.

Some of Lee Street Beach was visible, but sand – three inches deep in some places – blanketed the sidewalk there for several yards.

A couple of miles inland, the raging lake could not disturb the relative calm in Perkins Woods.