City leaders address storm clean up at Milwaukee Public Works meeting

Damage cleanup from August is still underway a month later after storms ripped through southeastern Wisconsin. 

The cleanup effort and power restoration -- a topic during the Milwaukee Public Works committee meeting. 

From fallen trees to days without power, the destruction was unprecedented.

"This was the most trees that we’ve had come down in any one storm and I think we responded in a good way. It does take time," said Jeff Polenske.

And it's that clean-up effort discussed at the Milwaukee Public Works committee meeting Thursday. 

Alderwoman Milele Coggs introduced a communication file aimed at getting more details from DPW and WE Energies when it comes to responding to storm events. 

"It was a huge storm. I do really feel strongly DPW showed up," Polenske said.

Alderman Bob Bauman shared frustration with We Energies and feels customers have no one to complain to unable to take the business to a different electricity supplier. 

"Who do we un-elect at We Energies? Who does the citizens of Milwaukee have the power to vote out of office at WE Energies if they screw up, fail to do their job? No one," said Bauman.

We Energies said this was the largest storm restoration effort in the history of their company and wish the efforts of the workers were acknowledged by Bauman. 

"It destroyed power lines, we had to string 5 miles of cable, replace about 200 power poles from trees falling down. So his frustration is misdirected. That said people can call us 24/7/365 we are available all the time," said Conway.

We Energies said they hope to continue to have an open dialogue with the city.

As for Milwaukeeans who still have tree damage to be picked up, DPW said they will pick them up, and appreciates the patience as the efforts take time.

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