Mudslide puts hit on Port’s north beach

Rain-soaked bluff gives way, forcing city crews into cleanup mode

A sloppy spring and saturated ground, topped by rain over the weekend, caused a portion of the Upper Lake Park bluff in Port Washington to slump, blocking walkers who stroll on the north beach.

Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Imig said it’s believed that the mudslide occurred sometime Friday night, forcing the city to close the beach on Saturday.

“It was pretty bad,” Imig said. “The bluff just gave way.”

There were some fairly large trees fallen on the sand as well, he said. They probably didn’t slide down the bluff but instead were washed up on the beach.

Early Monday, crews were out removing the mud and debris using a front-end loader. 

Imig said it took Parks Maintenance Foreman Bob Poull all morning and 10 dump truck loads before the beach was open again.

“It’s still pretty sloppy. There’s still water leaching from the bluff,” Imig said. “You can pass through again, but there’s not much beach left. The water is pretty high.”

So high, he said, that Poull reported Mile Rock is almost surrounded by water, he said.

The waves are getting close to the toe of the bluff, he added.

“The water’s eating away at it,” Imig said.

Imig noted that all but one of the life ring posts has been lost and the department has replaced the rocks leading from the ramp to the beach four or five times already — victims of the fierce lake waves and wind.

“It’s an ongoing battle,” he said.

And with more rain predicted for this week, there is a chance for more mudslides and the potential for the beach to be closed again.

“We’ll just keep monitoring it and see what happens,” Imig said.

Image information: 

MUD AND DEBRIS slid down the Upper Lake Park bluff and blocked the entrance to Port Washington’s north beach this weekend, stymieing those who wanted to stroll along the lakefront. Photo by Bill Schanen IV



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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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