Dumpsters filling up as city cleans up after flood

Street department uses front-end loaders, dump trucks to cart away soaked belongings of Port residents

PORT WASHINGTON CITY workers Kahlin Taylor (left) and Al Evenson tackled a pile of waterlogged household items from outside a house on Jackson Street east of Franklin Street Tuesday morning, piling them onto a front end loader that dropped them into a dump truck for transport to the city garage. There they were placed in a large concrete bin and ultimately put in a dumpster for disposal. Photo by Bill Schanen IV
Ozaukee Press staff


Port Washington street department crews were busy Tuesday picking up waterlogged furniture, carpeting and household items from homes that experienced flooding during the past week.

Crews covered about 75% of the city Tuesday and were expected to make it through the rest of the community Wednesday, Street Commissioner J.D. Hoile said.

“People were so appreciative we were hauling the stuff away,” Hoile said.

They will make another swing through the city on Thursday to pick up any remaining items at the curb, City Administrator Mark Grams said.

“We’re hoping Thursday will be our last day,” he said.

Grams said the crews were helped by the number of people who dropped soggy items at dumpsters at the street department garage over the weekend.

“We had a good turnout of people,” he said. “After the first four hours (on Saturday), almost all the dumpsters were filled.”

Hoile said that on Thursday, residents filled five 20-yard dumpsters at the garage. On Saturday, they filled five more 20-yard dumpsters as well as a 30-yard dumpster.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I think people just wanted it gone.”

Crews on Monday filled one 50-yard dumpster, four 30-yard containers and three 20-yard dumpsters, and a large concrete bin at the yard was still half full of items collected at the curb, he said.

As crews continue to pick up debris from around the city and repair roads and culverts, people continue to clean up their lives and businesses.

While many downtown businesses have cleaned and reopened, the Port Exploreum is still undergoing repairs.

Wayne Chruscial, executive director of the Port Washington Historical Society, which operates the downtown museum, said the lower level will likely remain closed for months but he hopes to have the first and second floors open by the weekend.

Throughout the lower level, two feet of drywall at the base of all the walls had to be removed, he said. The computer for the Fish Daze game was submerged and needs to be replaced, and work is continuing to get the elevator up and running.

“We need the elevator working (to reopen),” Chruscial said.

The museum may relocate some technology to the first and second floors until the lower level can be reopened, he said.

Residents and businesses are urged to report their damages to the Ozaukee County Department of Emergency Management, which is collecting the information to begin the process for potential federal disaster assistance.

No such funds are available at this time.

To report damage, residents and businesses are asked to call 211 or visit https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/damage-report.

The County Board on Wednesday was also expected to ratify Board Chairman Lee Schlenvogt’s disaster declaration, something required by statute to ensure access to any funds the state or federal government makes available, County Administrator Jason Dzwinel said.

Governmental infrastructure throughout the county suffered an estimated $250,000 to $300,000 in damage from the flood, Dzwinel said.

That infrastructure includes several washouts in Port Washington, Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said, including a major one of Norport Drive and another on Hales Trail. Two sections of the Hales Trail culvert were washed down Valley Creek and still need to be retrieved, but that can’t be done until the water subsides.

And the Port Police Department is looking to buy a new squad car after one of its vehicles was destroyed in the flood, Chief Kevin Hingiss said.

It happened about 2 a.m. Monday when Officer Kirstin Moertl checked on vehicles stuck on Sunset Road near the railroad tracks, then headed to another call. She didn’t see the flooding on Spring Street and Portview Drive and drove into it.

“It killed the engine,” Hingiss said, adding that an onslaught of water then flooded the compartment.

Luckily, the car was one the department planned to trade in this fall, he added.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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