Below deck on the R/V Lake Guardian, the largest of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s research vessels, Ann Quinn secured what she could, boxing lab samples as the ship see-sawed through rough water.
The Guardian was caught in a 300-year storm. To the south, in Wisconsin, the governor had declared a state of emergency. Two men had died as water swept over the roads, cutting all access to Ashland. A sheriff’s deputy, his car carried off by the water, had clung to a tree for two hours until rescuers could throw ropes to him.