Homeowners near East River want pump house fixed after constant flooding

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GREEN BAY, Wis. Green Bay homeowners along the East River say they're tired of feeling anxious whenever it rains.

Mikel Perry points to an area in her basement where water comes in (WBAY photo)

Streets in that area of the city were covered in water Wednesday morning, and some of that water even traveled down into a homeowner's basement.

City crews were out for hours with a portable pump to clear water from Eliza, Cass and Goodell streets. Those streets sit near the East River.

Mikel Perry says during the heavy flood in March she lost nearly everything in her basement. Perry couldn't help but get emotional again on Wednesday after seeing a few inches of water trickle in her basement.

"I just feel like nobody's really done anything,” said Perry. “We had garbage pickup, which... thank you. You know, I lost 21 years of things. My wedding pictures were in the basement, things like that, and it’s just very hard."

Green Bay Public Works says Wednesday morning's flooding wasn't due to the amount of rain recently, it's due to strong winds blowing up the bay and stopping the Fox River from releasing properly.

"When the Fox River can't discharge, then that stops the East River from discharging and any of the tributary rivers, and water levels everywhere start going up," said Steve Grenier, Green Bay’s Director of Public Works.

Across the street from the Perry home is a lift station along the East River, also known as a pump house.

Grenier says the lift station would've helped prevent light flooding Wednesday, but it hasn't had a functioning pump for several years.

"The March flood is a completely different animal, so the lift station wouldn’t have helped. In Wednesday’s situation where we had a backup, you need some additional pressure to help push that out, and that's what that lift station's going to do," said Grenier.

"When it started filling up this morning, the anxiety rose quite a bit,” said Perry. “It's just sad that the city hasn't done anything to fix the pump in the pump house.”

Grenier says his crews monitored the water levels and were ready to tackle Wednesday morning's flood, but the pump house hasn't been fixed due to limited resources.

"It's a matter of scarce resources and programming in and getting things done where money allows for it," Grenier adds.

"The fact that we get the flooding over three times a year because of the pump house just from the flash rain that we get is upsetting. I just need a pump house," said Perry.

Grenier says the pump house near Eliza St. will be fixed this summer as part of a project. Until then, Grenier ensures the Public Works Department will continue to keep an eye in that area for future flooding concerns.

Perry says as of now four homes on Eliza St. remain condemned since the March flood.

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