Storms give Fredonia a double hit

High winds Tuesday night fell trees, knock out power after heavy rainfall Monday

STRONG WINDS ON TUESDAY evening toppled trees and power lines on South Milwaukee Street in the Village of Fredonia, knocking out power for many homes. Photo by Sam Arendt

HAWTHORNE DRIVE SOUTH of Fredonia (left photo) and east of Highway 57 was washed out by Monday’s heavy rains. Fredonia firefighters (above) cleared downed limbs and debris from railroad tracks on Fredonia Avenue and other areas Tuesday. Photos by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

Fredonia mostly escaped one weather event on Monday only to be hit hard by another Tuesday evening as high winds whipped through the village and surrounding areas, blowing down trees and power lines.

Village firefighters were out on Tuesday evening cleaning trees limbs that fell across railroad tracks on Fredonia Avenue and tore down overhead lines near the Fire Station on South Milwaukee Street.

Fox Glen Road also was hit hard with several trees blown down, damaging houses, boats and cars parked in yards or driveways.  With power out, the Fredonia Fire Dept. brought out spotlights to help neighbors and volunteers clear the debris.

Ozaukee County Emergency Management Director Scott Ziegler said the ground saturated from Monday’s storm had as much to do with the damage as the wind.

“There was just enough wind to push those trees over. Without that, I don’t think we would have had much damage,” he said.

According to We Energies, nearly 1,500 customers in and around Fredonia were still without power. Wednesday morning, phone service appeared to be affected for some residents and at Village Hall.

We Energies crews were working on South Milwaukee Street Wednesday morning to restore power and expected to have work completed by midday.

South Milwaukee Street was expected to be closed until noon.

On Monday, Fredonia was inundated with rain, but escaped without suffering some of the damage and severe flooding experienced in other communities.

Fredonia Fire Chief Brian Weyker was out early Monday morning in the rain and wind while it was still dark to assess damage and flooding.

“I realized I wasn’t going to be able to cover the whole town so I called in some (firefighters) and we spread out,” he said.

Finding trouble spots, firefighters and city workers were soon placing orange cones and barricades to mark standing water and removing tree limbs and other debris from streets.

The worst flooding was in village parks and on South Milwaukee Street at Meadowbrook, which was closed to traffic most of the morning.

But by the middle of the day, things were mostly back to normal, said Public Works Director Roger Strohm.

There were few reports of damage and some scattered flooding of basements, Strohm said.

The rain undermined railroad track embankments in three places, Weyker said. The railroad was notified and crews were dispatched to assess the damage.

Strohm estimated close to seven inches, or more, of rain fell, judging by his backyard rain gauge.

“It measures up to six inches and it was overflowing,” he said.

Strohm said the village sewage treatment plant “slowed down” for a time due to the water.

“But otherwise we handled it just fine,” he said.

Outside the village, Hawthorne Road east of Highway 57 was undercut by the water, causing the pavement to collapse.

Fredonia Town Clerk Bob Eichner toured the town Monday morning after the storm.

“We had no road closings, even though I think the river went from low tide to high tide in about 12 hours,” he said.

Waubedonia Park was partially flooded, much to the chagrin of two campers who spent the night there, he said.
“It was a very soggy morning for them,” Eichner said.




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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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