How Sandy is affecting WisconsinWisconsin News
-- Residents of 265 homes in Kenosha County have been urged to voluntarily evacuate, as high waves from Super-storm Sandy are about to hit.
PLEASANT PRAIRIE - Residents of 265 homes in Kenosha County have been urged to voluntarily evacuate, as high waves from Super-storm Sandy are about to hit.
Officials in Pleasant Prairie made the request last night for people living close to Lake Michigan and four creeks that drain into the big lake. Forecasters now predict waves of 8-to-14 feet on the Lake Michigan shoreline the next shoreline throughout eastern Wisconsin over the next couple days. Pleasant Prairie officials fear flooding close to the waters, and the village is providing sandbags. They’re asking people to be out by eight this morning. Pleasant Prairie has about 20,000 residents close to the Illinois border.
Officials in Kenosha County were asking for help this morning to fill sandbags to protect water-front residents of Pleasant Prairie. That’s where Super-storm Sandy is expected to create waves of up to 14-feet on Lake Michigan this afternoon. The waves were as high as eight-feet at mid-morning. John Steinbrink Jr., the public works director in Pleasant Prairie, said the lakefront was about 500 sandbags short of what it should have had at mid-morning. Volunteers have been filling those sand-bags since last evening. It’s been windy since last night up-and-down the Lake Michigan shoreline in Wisconsin. Sturgeon Bay had gusts of 40-miles-an-hour at nine o’clock, and the meter hit 39 in Racine. Gusts of up to 50 are expected on the Door County Peninsula through tonight. Elsewhere, the winds expected to start diminishing this afternoon. Pleasant Prairie communications director Chris Lopour said the strongest winds were expected between 10 a.m. and two this afternoon.
Governor Scott Walker says the National Guard is ready to offer help both in Wisconsin and on the East Coast if necessary. Door County remains the only place in Wisconsin with a wind advisory. The peninsula between Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay could get with 50-mile-an-hour winds today. Gusts up to 40 are expected in other parts of eastern Wisconsin. And officials say Lake Michigan’s southern shore – south of Sheboygan – will be hit the hardest. Sandy hit landfall last night, striking the New Jersey coastline with 80-mile-an-hour winds. Overnight reports said the storm killed 16 Americans. The full extent of the damage won’t be known until today. At Milwaukee Mitchell, the state’s largest airport, officials said very few travelers were stranded yesterday – and only a small number tried to catch flights to the battered East Coast.
The National Weather Service expanded its wind advisories in eastern Wisconsin overnight, as the impact of Super-storm Sandy is being felt. Wind advisories are now in effect until seven tonight in Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Kewaunee counties – and until 10 a-m tomorrow in Door County. Those places are expected to have sustained winds of 25-to-35 miles an hour, with gusts up to 50. The Weather Service says the strongest winds will occur this afternoon, and will begin to diminish late today except at the northern tip of the Door Peninsula – where strong winds can be expected until tomorrow morning. Crowds looked on in Milwaukee last night as the waves got bigger on Lake Michigan. Police are urging folks to stay away from those areas today, as the waves could get up to 18-feet. Officials in Pleasant Prairie, south of Kenosha, have urged residents of 265 waterfront homes to voluntarily evacuate by eight this morning. Generac of Waukesha, a maker of backup electric generators, says it’s been swamped by orders from the East Coast – where Sandy hit landfall last night with winds of 80-miles-an-hour.
Wisconsin financial experts do not believe that Super-storm Sandy will have a big impact on the stock markets. Those markets are closed again today – and it’s the first time since 1888 that the New York Stock Exchange was closed on back-to-back days due to bad weather. Bruce Bittles, the chief investment strategist for Milwaukee’s Robert W. Baird-and-Company, says there might not be any major moves in the stock market until after next Tuesday’s elections. He says the presidential contest has the biggest impact on Wall Street, and it will remain that way. Sara Walker of Associated Trust Company in Milwaukee says her firm has not heard from anyone concerned that they could not trade stocks for the first two days of the week. And Sam Stovall of Standard-and-Poor’s says bad weather has not hampered stock gains in the past. He says quote, “Equities are more likely driven by wider-reaching global events than localized natural disasters.” Meanwhile, the SS Badger car ferry has canceled its one-round trip scheduled for today on Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and Ludington, Michigan. That’s due to high winds and choppy waters caused by Super-storm Sandy. Milwaukee’s Lake Express Ferry was sent to a heavy-lift dock yesterday for precautionary reasons.
Wisconsin’s largest airport says there have been hardly any stranded travelers today, due to the dozens of Milwaukee flights canceled by Hurricane Sandy. Spokeswoman Pat Rowe at Mitchell International said there were few, if any, people showing up expecting to board an East Coast flight. She said the airlines have done a great job of notifying passengers of cancellations, and letting passengers re-book. Rowe said the carriers started getting in touch with customers during the weekend. She encourages people to sign up for text alerts with their airlines. Mitchell International Airport has an up-to-date list of canceled flights on its Web site.
Officials close to Lake Michigan are taking steps to avoid damage to boats and other things, with waves expected to reach up to 31-feet today and Wednesday. The largest waves are predicted north of Sheboygan. In Milwaukee County, park employees put up snow-fences to keep sand from Bradford Beach from blowing onto a main road nearby. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says the storm won’t nearly have the same impact as on the East Coast – but people can expect to feel the effects. Winds of up to 50 miles an hour are expected in Door County tomorrow, and up to 45 elsewhere in eastern Wisconsin.