Door County damages from rain storm: Power outages, washed-out highway, limiting water use (2024)

High winds blew down trees and left customers without power, and a third bout of heavy rain in five days destroyed a county highway and led Sturgeon Bay to ask residents to limit water use

Christopher CloughGreen Bay Press-Gazette

DOOR COUNTY - Power was out for hundreds, a county highway is washed out and Sturgeon Bay residents were asked to limit their water use in the wake of the early morning storm Tuesday that brought tree-toppling winds and torrential rain to Door County.

Power outages

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wisconsin Public Service was reporting about 268 customers throughout the county who lost power between 5 and 6 a.m, down more than a hundred from three hours earlier. The Carlsville area was the beneficiary during that span as customers had their power restored with those without electricity remaining in the far northern tip of the Peninsula, around Ellison Bay, Gills Rock, Newport and Rowleys Bay. Some were expected to have power restored by 5 p.m. while others were having their restoration times reassessed by WPS crews.

And on Washington Island, about 200 of the Island's 1,200 Electric Cooperative customers lost power, with about 120 remaining without power as of noon Tuesday. That comes on the heels of the May 21 thunderstorm and EF1 tornado that left all 1,200 customers without power and required almost a week for crews to restore power to everyone.

The culprit again was high wind speeds that blew down trees that took down power lines and poles. The Washington Island Electric Cooperative reported Tuesday morning on its Facebook page that downed trees were blocking Green Bay Road and Aznoe Road.

Washed-out highway

Meanwhile, a third bout of heavy rain in less than five days, this one the heaviest yet, has closed part of County U south of Sturgeon Bay for an undetermined length of time because the road is gone.

A drainage culvert under the highway at Rosewood Road and South Shiloh Road, a little less than a mile south of La Salle Park on the Lake Michigan shore, overfilled, washing out the culvert and the roadway, which is closed until further notice at that location.

The Door County Highway Department set up a detour that uses County J on the north side of the closure, County S and Kennedy Drive in Kewaunee County on the south end. Rob Robison, construction supervisor for the highway department, said there is not yet a timeline for repairing the highway, noting that the culvert that was lost and needs to be rebuilt along with the highway is a long, large one.

The area around Sturgeon Bay was inundated with rain recently even before Tuesday morning's downpour. Various reports said the area received more than an inch and a half of rain June 20 and about an inch June 23.

On top of those, Sturgeon Bay Utilities told the Advocate it had 4 inches of new precipitation in its rain gauge, all of which happened in a period of three to four hours. It adds up to a total of 5.5 to 6.5 inches of rain over the past five days.

Limit your water use, Sturgeon Bay

While Sturgeon Bay Utilities reported no power outages in the city from the storm, Tuesday morning's rain also led the utility to ask residents and businesses to limit their water use because its wastewater treatment plant reached maximum capacity.

A Facebook post from the utility said to help the amount of wastewater in the system to go back down, customers should limit water use and water discharge into the system as much as possible. Running a washing machine, flushing toilets and running fluids or anything else down a drain were examples cited of uses that should be limited to help wastewater levels get back to normal. It further said there is no "fix" other than less use by customers.

"The heavy rain in a short period of time last night has caused significant issues within our sanitary collection system," their Facebook post said. "The only thing that will mitigate this situation is time and allowing water levels to decrease."

Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900

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Door County damages from rain storm: Power outages, washed-out highway, limiting water use (2024)
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