PortandTerminal.com, January 17, 2020
High winds, towering waves, and flooding caused millions of dollars in damage to Port Milwaukee on Lake Michigan
MILWAUKEE, WI – A severe winter storm last Saturday caused potentially millions of dollars in damage to the Port of Milwaukee, according to port officials.
Officials said parts of the port and Jones Island were under 6 inches to 4 feet of water on Saturday. When the water receded, it left behind ice up to a foot thick in some areas.
Officials said in an interview with station WISN that the water damaged nearly everything on the port’s east side, near Lake Michigan.
“Everything from the waterside infrastructure, like the dock walls where the vessels and the great lakes ships come in, to our rail infrastructure. Our warehouses, our terminal, electrical, certainly asphalt, road paving,” said Adam Schlicht, the Port of Milwaukee’s director. “It’s fairly comprehensive across the entirety of the island.”
Schlicht said this time of year, the port is normally busy receiving international bulk salt deliveries from ships.
They distribute the salt locally and across the state.
They are also usually busy with rail lines and truck taking cargo shipments and distributing them to local producers and manufacturers.
“It can be anything from specialty European steels, bulk commodities like cement or limestone. It’s a lot of the commodities that go to area manufacturers and producers,” Schlicht said. “My concern is that with this flooding and a lull in our operational efficiency, those manufacturers and suppliers locally that are used to immediate customer service from the port may have a delay in getting their goods to market.”
Schlicht said these next few days will be critical for them to evaluate what needs to be done in order to get the port and Jones Island back to fully operational.
Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific officials will inspect the rails before cargo operations can be restarted.
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