OZAUKEE COUNTY — Frozen floodwaters covering roads in parts of Ozaukee County — that’s what a lot of people are dealing with Monday after ice jams on the Milwaukee River left water overflowing onto streets and into houses.
“It’s scary, it’s scary, but that’s the life you get when you live on the river,” Theresa Michaels said.
A fast warm-up mixed with ice jams, snowmelt and rainfall, it’s a recipe for the now partially frozen floodwaters bordering the home Michaels has lived in for almost 46 years.
“It’s never been like this. We’ve had flooding many years ago but never like this,” Michaels said.
Record flooding last hit the area in the late 1950s.
“Neighbors said back in 1959 it got really high. It was like up to the middle of our driveway, but it has never been like this,” Michaels said.
River levels peaked Saturday night after a major ice jam broke during the day. Jacob Denboer was downtown with his wife, but after hearing the break in the ice, they rushed home quickly.
“My wife hollered at me, she says ‘Get me home as fast as you can’ and we got home, we went around town, came in from the north side, put the dogs in the car and barely got out the driveway,” Denboer said.
“Neighbors said back in 1959 it got really high. It was like up to the middle of our driveway, but it has never been like this.” — Theresa Michaels
South of Waubeka in Mequon, people are dealing with similar problems. Front lawns are submerged in water as high as some garages, and homeowners are forced to park cars on the side of the road to avoid standing water in the middle of the street.
Ozaukee County Emergency Management is urging people not to drive around barricades for closed roads. County representatives said they’ve already had to rescue a few people and the floodwaters pose a huge threat to everyone’s safety.