2 weeks later, DPW says storm cleanup continues as staff work around the clock

NOW: 2 weeks later, DPW says storm cleanup continues as staff work around the clock

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As we've heard from companies like WE Energies, the storms that came through Milwaukee on Aug. 10 were unprecedented. The Department of Public Works (DPW) says the city's cleanup continues, more than two weeks later.

"Sweeping through neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the storm," said Randy Krause the DPW's Forestry Services Manager. "Street by street, block by block. Cleaning up branches and picking up brush piles. Fifty percent of that work has been completed so far, but we expect another week, or two even, of cleaning up that damage." 

In the weeks following the storms, DPW received over 3,000 calls for emergency tree service, many of them requiring immediate attention. 

The city lost power at 120 signal intersections, according to the city's engineer. All of those have since been restored. 

They also received 1,600 requests for brush collection from residents. About 61 percent of those requests have been filled as of Thursday Aug. 26. 

Clean up is taking more time than usual because of how sporadic the storm damage is, DPW says staff is working around the clock to get it done. 

"If you see something that remains out in front of your properties, its not that it's been forgotten," said the city's commissioner of public works Jeffrey Polenske. "Report it to make sure we're aware of it, but know that we will be responding and its an ongoing effort at this time." 

Some of the damage will last well into the fall as 530 mature street trees were lost by the storm. The large roots pulled up sidewalks and large patches of grass in front of many homes. 

On 24th Place, not far from Hampton Avenue, one street alone has four uprooted trees. 

"Obviously once the ground freezes it becomes more difficult to do that sort of work," said Polenske. "Our goal is to keep working through the city and getting at these before the winter season hits."

Residents are encouraged to report brush that still needs to be cleaned up or any hazardous branches. 


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