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Port Washington homeowners ineligible for flood insurance out thousands

PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) – Homeowners in Port Washington are calling on the city to make changes to prevent major flooding in the future. Some residents are out thousands simply because their insurance companies say they cannot get flood insurance.

Wendy Mueller has been cleaning up for the past week, as her basement was flooded with seven feet of water, damaging appliances and other personal items in her basement. Her basement windows busted open.

“When I opened the basement door, I noticed I had coolers up to the first floor,” Mueller said.

The Mueller’s say they aren’t eligible for flood insurance. They tell CBS 58 News their insurance company said it's because they don’t live on a flood plain and aren’t close enough to the surrounding water.

“No flood insurance means we foot the bill for this,” Mueller said.

The homeowner blames flooding on nearby subdivisions and the city’s drainage system.

“My neighbor two doors down was sleeping in his basement when the steel door bust open,” Mueller said. “I don't know if they're waiting for someone to die. This is not our problem.”

The Port Washington City Administrator tells CBS 58 they’re looking at alternatives to reduce the amount of flooding in the future. He says in the area near the Mueller’s house, the city came up with a plan to fix the flooding a few years ago, but some residents wouldn’t comply with the work, which stopped the city from moving forward. He said, "residents would not provide easements to the city to enlarge the storm sewer culverts." 

Alderman Michael Gasper said the city is taking this situation seriously.

“It is the city's responsibility, to make this better, to make these issues better and resolve them,” Mueller said.

After addressing the Port Washington Common Council, Mueller is hopeful that the city will work on a solution, but she would move if she could.

“Even selling these three houses and making it into retention pond because I wouldn't wish this horror on anyone,” Mueller said.

The city is expected to meet to talk about these issues next week.


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