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Menomonee Falls and Germantown hammered with storms

July 1, 2014

Downed trees, WE Energies vans and power outages were the norm all over southeastern Wisconsin on Monday, June 30, and Menomonee Falls and Germantown were no exception.

"It just plain sucks," said Amber Peterson York, whose Colgate home itself was not damaged by three fallen trees, but the deck was. She and her family were without power beginning at 5 p.m. June 30 and still had not gotten power back as of 10:45 a.m. July 1.

"The house is hot," said York. "We just packed the freezers and fridge with ice and are trying not to open the doors...If (the power is) out a lot longer, we will have a whole new set of issues."

Representatives from WE Energies were certainly hard at work in Menomonee Falls that morning.

"We'll definitely be very busy today," said WE Energies employee Dave Patoka, as he prepared to repair a power line on Lilly Road near Fond du Lac Avenue on Tuesday, July 1. He and his partner Fred Plato, of Colgate and Mequon, respectively did not work through the night June 30, but said they anticipate a longer than usual workday.

"This storm was the real deal," said Patoka, who dealt with a power outage of his own at his home from 6 p.m. to midnight the night before. As he worked in Menomonee Falls around 9 a.m. July 1, he said he is aware of about 35,000 power outages remaining in the area, down from a whopping 115,000 throughout southeastern Wisconsin Monday night.

Locally, the outages affected a number of traffic signals, including the one at Lilly Road and Appleton Avenue. Stop signs were set up in their stead, and Assistant Police Chief Mark Waters cited this as an example of the importance of proceeding with caution throughout the village for the day or two following the storms.

"Traffic intersections, downed trees, and downed wires are all things to be very, very cautious about after a storm like this," he said.

The Menomonee Falls police and fire departments responded to a combined 64 calls throughout the evening of the storm, which Waters said is way above the norm.

The Germantown Police Department wasn't nearly as busy, according to Germantown Police Lt. Todd Greiner, who said Tuesday, "Germantown is business as usual."

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