WASHINGTON COUNTY -- An ice jam has caused thousands of dollars in damages to a Newburg baseball field in Washington County. The Milwaukee River began overflowing on Sunday, January 22nd. Locals there say they've never seen anything like it.
The situation is certainly the talk of the town. Plenty of people were out on Friday, January 27th, taking pictures and observing the damage Mother Nature left behind.
Now on the right course, the Milwaukee River is calmly flowing through Fireman's Park in the Village of Newburg. Just a few days earlier, the ice jam caused it to change course.
"It's very rare and it happens but not this severe," said Chief Mark Chesak, Newburg Fire Department.
Fire Chief Mark Chesak says the river began spilling onto the field over the weekend.
"Sunday it was only a little bit and then every day as we watched, we got more and more and we were like oh boy what's going to happen here -- how much more damage are we going to get," said Chesak.
The entire park was submerged in water. The scope of the damage is predicted in the thousands.
The baseball field is now in need of serious repairs, not to mention the cost of equipment used to remove the ice jam.
"We got a backhoe here yesterday and he was here all day yesterday, just finished up today," said Chesak. "As you can see it helped a lot and deviated the water is down where it should be."
All week the flooding has been attracting locals.
"It's devastating for me. Working in town here, everybody's been talking about it," said Kenny Miller, Newburg.
Kenny Miller remembers his glory days on the baseball field.
"I played ball in the 60s, this is by far the best infield," said Miller.
He never thought an ice jam could wash that away.
"The fire department is working on what they can do so hopefully it will get back to normal," said Miller.
That's exactly what the fire chief says is being done.
"The little league use the diamonds, hopefully we can get it together by then so the kids can play in the summer," said Chesak.
As damage is estimated in the thousands, Fire Chief Chesak says the profits from their annual fundraiser for the fire house will have to go to repairs.