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Effort underway to help Green Bay residents impacted by flooding on city's east side

People living along Nicolet Drive say they've been dealing with flooding issues on their property for years
Posted at 12:18 AM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 14:15:53-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — When there is dry weather in the forecast, you couldn't tell flooding is a problem along Nicolet Drive on Green Bay's east side.

But when heavy rain falls, it's a different story.

"It seems like it's evolved over the years here," Dan Nielson said, who has been living on Nicolet Drive for 15 years. "Gotten to be more and more and more."

Nielson says for the last five years, parts of his property have flooded multiple times.

He says his home has avoided damage from flooding.

"We used to have a small orchard," Nielson said. "We've already lost six fruit trees."

Over the years, flooding on Nielson's property has caused his driveway to start sinking, and then it drops right off into a drainage ditch that is four feet deep.

"Goes down, and it (the water) crests Nicolet Drive, crosses the road, and then pretty much any home north of us, they have flooding issues," Nielson said.

To prevent more flooding, Nielson uses his tractor and builds a berm using fill dirt.

He is rebuilding it following a recent storm.

"It worked, until the rain washed it all out," Nielson said.

The city is continuing to work to address problems Nielson and his neighbors are encountering.

"The really neat part about this project is we know it's successful," District 1 alderperson Jennifer Grant said.

Last week, the Common Council unanimously approved a $250,000 American Rescue Plan Act proposal to address flooding along Nicolet Drive.

Part of the project will be done on Nielson's property.

"All it's doing is creating a pipe from the ditch and pushing it out to the bay," Grant said. "So there's a culvert there, but the water will go out into the bay instead of going through their yards."

Grant says this project is being done in a second location along the road, near Church Road & Nicolet Drive.

She says the first project was completed last summer.

"The residents who have had that put in did say ever since then, they have not experienced the same issues," Grant said.

Nielson says he's confident this new project will work.

"It's going to I would say, eliminate the biggest part of all this flooding," Nielson said.

And so that he can spend less time on his tractor.

Grant says the county committed a half a million dollars to the project, bringing the project's total to $750,000.

According to Brown County Highway Commissioner Paul Fontecchio, the county has yet to finish up the municipal agreement with the City of Green Bay.

Fontecchio says the hope is to begin construction on the project by June of next year.