SHEBOYGAN – Although Erik Boelkow said he only lost power for a second in his home on North Fifth Street during a severe storm Wednesday night that brought high winds and heavy rains, a tree near the street was uprooted from the curb and fell onto his house.
Boelkow suspects there is damage to his attic, but hasn’t been able to get to it yet. He said there is damage to the gutters and soffits.
The storm that hit Sheboygan Wednesday night downed several trees and power lines across the city, leaving many residents without power Thursday morning.
“We just heard a gust of wind, and a thud when it made contact with the house,” Boelkow said.
On Third Street, Boelkow said in addition to fallen branches on his neighbor’s car, there were also three trees on the east and west sides of Third Street that were also completely uprooted from the entire curb.
“I’ve never, ever seen that in my life,” Boelkow said. “To see that in a super residential area, you’d think the buildings would break it up.”
As of 10:48 am Thursday, 4,005 customers remained without power in Sheboygan, according to the Alliant Energy Outage Center. Alliant Energy estimated customers would have power by 8 pm Fri.
The city’s Department of Public Works was responding to tree damage Thursday morning, the city said in a news release.
Wednesday night during the storm, the Sheboygan Fire Department responded to more than 60 calls for service in less than two hours. The calls included fire alarms, trees down, wires down and emergency calls.
“On a typical day, in 24 hours, the SFD responds to anywhere from 15 to 25 calls,” the department said in a news release. “Though the storms introduced an excess number of service calls, the department rapidly responded to each call and assessed for any danger to the public.”
No injuries were reported to the department last night, Assistant Chief Michael Lubbert said.
DPW crews responded immediately after the storm and worked to clear roads until around 2:30 am Thursday, the city said. The crews returned to clearing more trees from blocked roads later on Thursday morning.
“I called emergency services, it took a while,” Boelkow said Thursday morning. “Not even a half hour ago they gave me a ticket or case number.”
Once roads are cleared, the city said DPW crews will work on opening blocked driveways and removing trees downed on vehicles.
Then, crews will concentrate on removing trees from on top of houses. The city said this work will need to be done carefully and will take additional effort.
Trees or tree limbs blocking sidewalks or laying in the parking lane or terrace will be addressed later, the city said.
“This clean-up will take several days, given the priority status of the tree issue,” the city said. “The DPW office is logging all the locations and working with crews to identify and prioritize these issues.”
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People can contact the DPW office at sheboygandpw.com or by calling 920-459-3440, option 7.
The DPW is concentrating on public street trees and is only working on privately owned or resident trees that are within the street right-of-way. Residents who have private tree damage are encouraged to contact a private tree removal contractor.
In addition, DPW is asking residents not to pile branches or tree debris from private trees in the terrace area to be collected. Residents are encouraged to take private tree debris to a drop-off site at 2026 New Jersey Ave.
Contact Brandon Reid at 920-686-2984 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @breidHTRNews.