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Major flooding closes I-94 off ramp near Hawley Road

Posted at 10:40 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 00:13:55-05

Several dozen homes and some vehicles were damaged on Saturday after a water main break flooded a local neighborhood.

A spokesperson for Milwaukee's Department of Public Works said crews responded to the area around 10 a.m.

Residents reported that water rushed from the break down from Hawley into the intersection of 60th and Dixon, flooding several blocks around it. Neighbors said that water rushed into their homes so fast, all they could do was watch and panic.

"To my eyes behold we almost got a lake coming out our front road here," said homeowner Mark Miller.

Those who lived in the area waded through knee-deep water, carrying their kids and dogs. Some drove through the waters, and many cars flooded.

"My basement is flooded all the way to the first floor, so I basically lost everything," said Israel Ramirez.

Crews haven't determined the cause of the water main break, but say it's common occurrence during the winter months.

"We still need to assess the damage that took place," said DPW spokesperson Brian DeNeve. "When you have a roadway that’s impacted, you got the foundation, erosion, etc. The pavement you see now is majorly disrupted," DeNeve said.
Later that morning, residents found the water subsiding. Allowing people living nearby to survey the extensive damage. They swept and pumped water out of their homes and sidewalks. Driveways and parts of roads were seen, totally washed away.

Brady Hammer says he lost all of his family photographs in his flooded basement. He said water rushed into his home in the span of a half-hour, and it also flooded his car.

"So strong everything was going with it," Hammer said. "It was like two feet high, and then it just straight through the basement here."

Many residents did not have water, and they had to turn off their power. Red Cross was on scene late Saturday afternoon. Milwaukee waterworks crews went to look at the damage in each of the homes.

Crews said early Saturday afternoon they were hoping to get the water back to residents in about six hours.

Meanwhile, they are asking people that live in the area to check if their heat still works.

For information on filing a damage claim with the City of Milwaukee, click here.