Strong winds and high water have forced Port Milwaukee to prohibit public access to Jones Island. The unusual weather conditions have led to flooding on all the major roadways at the port.

Flooding has also affected terminal buildings on Jones Island. Tenants at the port have voluntarily halted their operations Saturday. Vessel arrivals scheduled for the next two days had already been delayed because of conditions on Lake Michigan.

Port Milwaukee staff is on-site, taking steps to reduce damage and prepare for the resumption of operations. It is not clear when the flooding will subside and normal operations at Port Milwaukee will resume.

“This is an unprecedented event at Port Milwaukee, and our team has mobilized to respond,” Port Director Adam Schlicht said. “We are in touch with our partners at the port, keeping them updated and planning next steps.”

Great Lakes water levels have been at or near all-time highs for much of the past year. That, combined with very high wind conditions, has allowed waves to wash over the break wall and dock walls around the port. At some locations on Jones Island under the Hoan Bridge, floodwaters have reached a depth of three feet.

The National Weather Service has Port Milwaukee under a gale warning with the potential for wind gusts of 50 miles per hour and waves over 15 feet. That warning remains in effect until early Sunday morning.

Port Milwaukee staff and tenants will evaluate storm damage in the coming days. Initial inspections suggest the flooding impacts may be significant.

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Photo by Tom Wright and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0