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Home » Ports » Port of Milwaukee battered by severe winter storm. Damage in the millions.

Port of Milwaukee battered by severe winter storm. Damage in the millions.

Wind swept wave crashes onto seawall in Milwaukee

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.

Video Coverage by WISN of damage to the Port

“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.

Parts of the port and Jones Island were under 6 inches to 4 feet of water on Saturday

“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.”

South Shore Yacht Club waves

Watch: Huge waves at the South Shore Yacht Club Saturday afternoon — where we've received reports of damage. fox6now.com/weather

Posted by FOX6 News Milwaukee on Saturday, January 11, 2020
McKinley Marina also sustained serious damage

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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