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1 year after causing thousands in damage, ‘ice jams’ once again build up in Newburg

NEWBURG -- Heavy rain and warmer temperatures for a brief time created a mess in Newburg, and this wasn't the first time flooding has happened here, leading to thousands of dollars worth of damage.

SKYFOX on Wednesday, Feb. 21 captured the huge ice jam along the Milwaukee River in the Village of Newburg. Just since Tuesday, water has flowed up over the river's edge and onto the baseball field at Fireman's Park.

"Since they've rerouted the dam, we've had ice jams build up here," Randy Roesler, VP of the Newburg Fire Department said.

Roesler called in excavator crews on Wednesday morning to dig into the river and break up the thick chunks of ice.

At the same location in January of 2017, the same problem caused even more damage.

"We had about $17,000 worth of damage done. This year, I don't think it will be as bad, but we're taking care of it a lot earlier," Roesler said.

It's still expected to be a big chunk of change, so who pays for it?

"The fire department. They are a not-for-profit agency, so it's not a good deal," said Rick Goeckner, village administrator/clerk said.

Goeckner explained the property is owned by the not-for-profit fire department the village contracts with for service, but some trees along the edge belong to private property owners, and Goeckner said a small island in the middle of the river is actually federal land. It's a complicated issue, bound to stay gridlocked until a permanent solution is found.

"It actually started taking trees off of the embankment. The trees were falling into the river. I don't know that it will ever stop until the debris is cleared out through the system," Goeckner said.

The DNR was out Wednesday afternoon, and officials are working with the village to come up with a solution to keep this from happening again next year.