Storm Damage Update

Sunday’s storm left some significant tree damage in its wake.

Among reports the city dealt with tonight ..

  • A large tree came down near 6th and Marquette, damaging part of a house and  vehicle.
  • In the 1800 block of Michigan, a large limb came down and fell on top of a vehicle, causing significant damage.
  • A large tree also came down in the 1700 block of Lakeview, and there were downed trees and limbs on power lines in the 600 block between Marquette and Michigan.

There were no reports of injuries, thankfully.

As of 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, there were still a few power outages being reported by customers near 14th and Missouri and 17th and Manistique — with more than 23,000 still without power across the area, according to the We Energies online outing map.

Did you suffer any storm damage. Post your comments below!

7 Comments

Filed under South Milwaukee

7 responses to “Storm Damage Update

  1. Joe on oak

    My garbage can blew over

  2. Mike Moeller - 1st District Voter

    If a tree falls in the woods do elected officials hear their constituents? Thank goodness no one was hurt by the storms on Sunday but the heavy winds continued into Monday and this 1st District voter has a property that backs up to the parkway and Oak Creek only to be further discouraged by the lack of urgency to address the continued erosion and issues surrounding Oak Creek which flows from the western border of South Milwaukee to the shores of Lake Michigan.

    Working in the yard late Monday afternoon a large, resounding crack like a million Popsicle sticks all breaking at once was heard by this home owner. Racing with my daughter to the edge of the ravine at the back of our yard to look down upon the stream that is just above the Mill Pond, we observed a large cotton wood tree about 3 feet in diameter broken and splintered about 20 feet up from its base at the side of Oak Creek. The top foliage and respective branches now hung precariously from its newly splintered top dangling in the waterway, along with the countless other trees and debris continuing to dam up the stream, only going to add to the continuing problems surrounding this waterway within the boarders of South Milwaukee.

    Now, to the query that prompted the question at the beginning of this post. I have been a resident of this City since 1999 and since that time I have been logging complaints with City, County and State representatives about the poor condition of this waterway due to the lack of attention and maintenance in the Parkway bordering our home and our neighbor’s homes. What was once a sound and stable ecosystem when our family first moved here in 1999 has been grossly ignored and destroyed since that time. Both my wife and I, growing up in farming communities that struggled with expensive DNR enforcement of private property erosion and runoff problems back in the 1980’s – 1990’s, immediately recognized the environmental problems associated with this waterway. As early as 2000 I began to log our concerns with respective elected officials for corrective actions but, like the question at the beginning of this post, continue to wonder if addressing these problems are taken seriously by elected officials and Government administration. When pressing the problem I have been told everything from “The City has no jurisdiction in a County Park” to “The Park system has no funds to address the problems” to “We are putting together a study to address this waterway” among many others. Fifteen years of excuses and meetings without significant results to address, much less correct, this problem.

    What do we need to wait for? Another flood to cut off our city and cause millions of dollars of damage like happened shortly after the new High School opened? Or maybe an inquisitive grade school student from E.W. Luther deciding to take an excursion along the creek on his way home from school only to be injured, or worse crushed, by a seemingly sturdy tree split and being pulled by the stream’s current and standing dangerously, to only let loose in the eroded soil around its root system? This waterway has now reached a point of liability and cannot wait for a 2 – 5 year study to address the immediate and growing concerns surrounding the dangers looming in this dark woods.

    This is a community of caring and concerned citizens. Picking up my neighbor’s trash can that may have blown over due to as storm and rolling it back to their garage is something everyone expects and respects from their neighbors in this community. Isn’t it time for us to expect similar actions from our neighbor that manages over 30% of the land in South Milwaukee? Shouldn’t the County begin to immediately address the problems associated with the waterway that circumnavigates our City? Or do we need to wait for the next storm to call that neighbor out on not being neighborly? Or, worse yet, do we wait for loss of property or life?

    • Mike: I share your concerns, and will press the county to explore and address any critical needs ahead of the completion of the restoration plan. I also ask you to contact your new county supervisor and the administration. Please share your frustration with them as well. That said, I believe more than ever that we’re on right path. You consider “putting together a study to address this waterway” an excuse that won’t make a difference. I disagree wholeheartedly. With the funding and start of the study, I would argue we have made more progress in the past six months in improving this watershed for the long term than we have in years. Are there improvements that can be made in the interim? Yes. Let’s explore them. But let’s also recognize that investments continue to be made in and around the creek. Last year, for example, the city did significant work in improving the bridge over Milwaukee Avenue, while the county replaced the Beech Street bridge. We also removed significant vegetation from the area around Milwaukee Avenue to improve flow. More work is needed, yes, and you raise a couple top priorities. Let’s work on those.

  3. Mike Moeller - 1st District Voter

    Erik – I will be making my customary calls to the County forestry department and will plan on attending the Grant Park Safety meeting scheduled for the 3rd Thursday of every month to express concerns about the immediate danger of the split tree but I will not be holding my hopes too high based on previous responses. The repairs to this watershed you mention are small, and I would venture to guess ordered by the County, in relation to the entire distance the stream travels through South Milwaukee. Let’s not forget the increased pressures on this watershed due to development over the past 20+ years and runoff from more affluent upstream communities.

    Based on the South Milwaukee Comprehensive Plan dated 2016, in which I have only gotten through page 40 of 202, it is stated of the Grant Park and Oak Creek Parkway corridors “These environmental, social, and recreational amenities are two of the strongest features in the region. Connections to the lakefront, as well as the enormous perimeter bordering residential areas, make these corridors an exceptional resource.”

    As positive of a spin you would like to make on this point, the City and County have largely ignored the very feature of this community that could carry it’s citizens into the next century driving property values and business investment. As of the date of this posting there are roughly 100 residential properties listed for sale on realtor.com in South Milwaukee and fewer than 10% of these properties are listed for over $200,000. Then, according to zillow.com 57 of these properties are foreclosures. Considering that the Comprehensive Plan lists Baby Boomers and Millennials as the most significant populations in this community the earlier and current situation serves neither; since Baby Boomers would like to capitalize on their largest, long term investment (their home) and, from the supposed research, Millennials would like to have walk-able communities with access to recreation and shopping. Again, I quote the Comprehensive Plan, “Looking ahead, it would be beneficial for the City to recognize the needs of these two generations and respond accordingly with appropriate community amenities.” Note, the earlier Comprehensive Plan was dated from 1999 and adopted in 2003. The current 2016 plan revisits and wordsmiths many of it’s predecessor’s plans.

    What the City’s comprehensive plan, and most of the political soothsayers have overlooked in this Federal election cycle, is the generation that falls in-between these two generations. The generation in-between is clearly signaling that the standards in which the Government is going to hold it’s Citizens, it’s Citizens are going to hold to the Government. A farmer in rural Wisconsin that is given less than 6 months to correct an erosion or water related issue on his property should have the same criteria applied to the Government who is in control of property over waterways on it’s property especially when it significantly affects the private property of it’s Citizens within that community. From the existing Comprehensive Plan you need to ask ‘Why has this in-between generation declined in South Milwaukee?’ This in-between generation is the driving force in long term stability and income growth. This in-between generation should be the intermediate long term property owners and investors in a community until the younger generation is able to invest in the community? Where is the in-between generation moving to? Keep in mind, the in-between generation are the children of the Baby Boomers and their children are the Millennials. Many forget this and many forget that this in-between generation will have the greatest say in the largest transfer of assets this County has ever seen as the aging Baby Boomer generation passes on and the in-between generation also holds influence over the Millennials. So, as many are focusing on the Millennials and Baby Boomers very few realize that the generation in-between will have a silent say on movement of capital and investment in this Country. So, what are the in-between generations saying about South Milwaukee?

    Stating the fact that the in-between generations will have a silent say on the largest transfer of assets this Country has ever seen, it becomes a purely economic decision, can those individuals that have invested $200,000 plus in their homes in South Milwaukee afford to take a hit and move into communities that are currently seeing a higher rate of return on their homes or are they stuck in South Milwaukee without a clear plan to recoup the investment in their largest asset? At some point we have to look into the mirror and face the fact that 8 years since the economic downturn an investment in a property in South Milwaukee has not yielded a positive return nor has it come close to pre-2008 dollars. Chaining individuals to a community without significant public infrastructure improvement to increase the value of private property and attract a new generation of families interested in supporting local schools and causes is not a long term plan for current, or future generations.

    My views, like many of my generation in this community, are looking to the next phase of our lives and asking ‘Will it be in South Milwaukee or will it be elsewhere?’ Personally I think that only a responsive and proactive Government with effective rate of return investments will prevail in answering this questions since we don’t have another 15 years to wait for an answer or action.

    • Disco

      Being a candidate for the 21st Assembly District, I look at this differently. SEWPAC ,the people doing the comprehensive study and the County, the land owner are caught behind the Wisconsin DNR. The people of South Milwaukee will be questioning the DNR rules for awhile. It will take a lot of patience to get any answer, so something can get done.

    • Rocandroo

      Well said! My family is in this situation of deciding whether to stay or go. If we go, it will be at a loss which is very disappointing. We will see in the next couple of years if SM actually progresses into a city that people want to move to and invest in. If nothing improves and SM continues to stay stagnant then we will be moving.

      • Betsy A.

        Rocandroo, what exactly are the characteristics or qualifications that would serve your decision to stay in SM?

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