Flood watch: Heavy rains raise flooding concerns in SE Wisconsin

CREATED Apr 13, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 14, 2014

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CEDARBURG - Heavy rain and melting snow has triggered flooding in some areas in Ozaukee County.

A couple of inches of rain over the last two days has local streams and rivers like Cedar Creek rising fast.

The owner of Silver Creek Brew Pub in Cedarburg is watching very closely, that's because the water is a couple feet from his patio.

"This is way later in the year to have it this high." Said Todd Schneeberger.

Emergency officials expect water levels to crest sometime Tuesday.


UPDATE (12:15 p.m.): You won't see a lot of sandbags stacked up in Thiensville. But last year, it was a different story.

Dennis Mehalopoulos stacked sandbags all around his flower shop last spring. Luckily, the Milwaukee River stopped just short of the barricade. He’s been monitoring Monday’s forecast closely.

"Right now, we're okay,” Mehalopoulos said. “I mean, I heard that Thiensville was flooded and I was kind of scared to see what my store was going to look like coming in this morning."

Thiensville Emergency Management Director Andy LaFond tells TODAY’S TMJ4 there probably won't be a need to sand bag Monday. Despite the flood warning, he hasn't been flooded with calls.

“I've only received one call and that's probably from our business that's closest to the river," LaFond said.

He checked, and none of the roads are underwater, so they're all open. Still, he's keeping track of when the Milwaukee River will crest.

For now, the floral shop owner will be filling vases, and not sand bags.

“If it keeps raining, that could be another situation,” Mehalopoulos said. “So, we're just going to play it by ear and see what we have to do."

He hopes he doesn't have to sand bag because he has a busy week of Easter decorating ahead of him.

The village will have empty sandbags and shovels available for any residents and businesses that may need them.


UPDATE (7:05 a.m): The Milwaukee River in Thiensville is expected to rise above 11 feet Monday morning.

The National Weather Service expects the river to crest at just over 13 feet.  Homes along the river are already seeing some first floor flooding.  

According to the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office, there are no street closures in Thiensville.

There is some minor street flooding in and around Milwaukee. Large puddles were found at the intersection of Appleton Avenue and Capitol Drive.  


THEINSVILLE -- With all the rain we saw Saturday and Sunday, and more on the way, the Milwaukee River will continue to rise.

Last spring, the Milwaukee River spilled into backyards and even basements. It’s a price to pay for living along the water's edge. Bob Jensen and his girlfriend Sarah want to avoid a flooded basement.

"We’re actually house shopping,” says Bob Jensen. “That's one of the things we thought about. Knowing what's happened with rivers here in the past, we specifically decided to stay away from the river."

There was a park bench that was nearly submerged by the flooding.

"We were actually here last weekend,” adds Jensen. “And that was not the case. It’s actually shocking to see that it's already gotten up that high and that thing is going to be underwater here shortly."

Jensen hopes the recent storm and predicted flooding doesn't fill too many basements.

“At least it's a sign that maybe spring is here,” says Jensen. “Hopefully we can get through this without any big problems and finally enjoy some spring and summer."

In the meantime, James Cox of Ace Hardware, has some suggestions to prevent springtime flooding.

“The main thing would be to make sure your sump pumps are working,” says Cox. “Now, even if they're working, a lot of times there are power outages - severe thunderstorms. a lot of people have purchased battery backup sump pumps."

The sump pump will act like floor drain and keep the water from getting too deep.

The good news is that with less rain expected throughout the workweek, the water levels are expected to go down.