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“The speed of this astounded me:” Milwaukee river quickly rises after rain in Thiensville

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THIENSVILLE (WITI) -- The high water had many on high alert up in Ozaukee County. A well known coffee shop in Thiensville kept a close eye on the water all night.

The rising river is something this area deals with every spring but what made this time so unique was how fast the water rose.

Inside Fiddleheads Coffee Shop, they serve up a strong cup O' Joe and what some call the prettiest view in Ozaukee County. And for the last few days this barista couldn't keep her eyes off it.

"Usually the river is so small and streamline, now it's just huge. This is huge," said Amanda Gierch, Barista.

Gierch can thank Thursday night's storms for that -- it poured 2-3 inches of rain in the area.

In just 24 hours, many came to get a glimpse and watch the rapid river move.

"The speed of this astounded me, it truly did," said Susan Bartel, Thiensville resident.

"It's really really high and you used to be able to walk down there by the trees and stuff," said Madeline Ressel, passerby.

Fiddleheads has dealt with the rising river before -- in fact, 5 years ago it flooded their back patio. But they have dozens of sandbags on standby just in case.

"We have enough to take us through any kind of emergency," said Fiddleheads Co-owner, Ray Marcy.

Luckily they didn't need them this time, the river crested at just under 11 feet.

"At 12 feet we'd be under water right now so we had to keep a close eye on it overnight," said Marcy.

Now he's watching his sump pump, trying to dry out the basement.

The owners hope to remove the extended sump pump pipe in the next day or two but they have to wait until the river goes back to its normal level.

The river is beginning to drop and the flood warned for Ozaukee County has been lifted.

  • If your home is flooded, call 800-662-4797 to disconnect power.
  • After disconnection, you may begin clean up activities.
  • Have a certified electrician inspect your system for damage before calling for reconnection.
  • Call us for reconnection: 800-662-4797

CLICK HERE for flood clean-up tips.

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