Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
Erik Brooks, alderman for South Milwaukee's 4th district which includes my neighborhood, was out Friday afternoon talking to folks on my street and Hemlock Court whose basements were flooded and contaminated by sewage from the previous day's storms.
"It was a mix of sadness, anger, resignation, exasperation, you name it," Brooks wrote in an email. "Hearing their stories showed me how important and serious this issue is, and why it will be a priority for me."
One of my neighbors feels like he's heard it all before.
Ron Weiselman says it wasn't as bad for his house as it was last time, but it was for others.
"We had water seepage and some sewer backup in our basement," he says. "Not a lot of sewerage this time, but some and seepage."
Two houses across the street got five or six inches, though, he added, and several on either side of those and on down the street were also impacted.
Ruined furnishing and carpeting is piled up at the curbs.
It sure looks like a reprise of a couple of years ago. So what's to be done?
"I have written a number of letters to city officials and talked to aldermen and the mayor and the city engineer," Ron says. "The (street/drain culvert construction) project at the end of Parkway only address flood water and did nothing for the sewerage backups."
Ron got a letter back from the city engineer "where he stated he felt we have a problem at the corner of Hemlock and Parkway Drive."
"NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE!!" Ron says, not even trying to restrain his anger and frustraton. "They are using our homes as a "Deep Tunnel" for sewerage!!!"
So are there any other areas in South Milwaukee that have this problem, or is it just Parkway Drive and Hemlock Court?
If so, why and what can be done?