Milwaukee crews work to free sewer grates of slush and ice

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Tuesday, February 18th was the first day we saw above-freezing temperatures in a month! Top of mind when the temperatures warm and there's still snow on the ground: flooding. There is a lot of snow to melt in southeastern Wisconsin -- and when it all starts to disappear at once, it can cause major problems!

A tandem crew, Gary Payton and Tony Smith worked together on Tuesday, chipping through the snow and ice on Capitol Drive - working to clear sewer grates so the water can drain.

"It's hard to keep up with. (The water) will flow out into the middle of the street and it can reach the up into the island, or it can come over the curb and back up into these peoples' basements," Milwaukee DPW Sewer Crew Leader Gary Payton said.

Payton and Smith work one drain at a time - each frozen and clogged.

"It gets a little wet and a little warm and they pop right through," Payton said.

Meanwhile, after Monday's snowfall, Jennifer Wilks was having difficulty even making it out of her father's front drive on Tuesday!

"I was doing pretty well until I got stuck," Wilks said.

The melting snow turned to ice under Wilks' car wheels.

"Slushy, slippery - you can't stop, so you have to drive carefully," Johnny Wilks said.

The bottom line is -- there is a lot of snow out there, and one warm day won't take care of it all. We will likely see further issues when the warm temperatures stick around - and the snow begins to melt en masse.