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Foxconn flooding

Water rushes out of the Foxconn construction area after heavy rain hit Racine County on Monday. 

MOUNT PLEASANT — The recent heavy rain caused some issues at the Foxconn Technology Group site as stormwater was reportedly flowing from the site into the Pike River.

According to Claude Lois, project manager for the village, the issue has been taken care of and improvements have been made.

“They were actually out there, on Labor Day, as well as all day (Tuesday), addressing the issue and fixing the issue,” Lois said. “There is no more stormwater runoff into the Pike River and it probably never even got to the Pike River.”

Lois said officials from Foxconn and M+W| Gilbane Building Co., the company in charge of construction, fixed a breach in one of the barriers used to prevent any runoff from heavy rains.

“They made all kinds of changes all day (Tuesday), they made changes to address that so it doesn’t happen again,” Lois said. “So it’s all under control and it’s handled.”

Lois said the village was informed by Gilbane and Foxconn about the issues, and have received reports on the work that was done.

Call for action

The local citizen group, A Better Mount Pleasant, sent a letter to organizations such as the Sierra Club, The Root-Pike Water Initiative Network and to governmental officials downstream in Kenosha County and Lake County, Ill. Environmental and downstream flooding concerns have been voiced by several people and organizations since plans for the massive Foxconn/Wisconn Valley project were first announced.

"The people of Mount Pleasant were told repeatedly by the village that stormwater at the Foxconn construction site would be appropriately managed and DNR regulations would be strictly adhered to at all phases of development. We were told that contingency plans and designs for historic floods were calculated. It is only September — not even a peak season for rain," the letter from Kelly Gallaher, a village resident, read.

In a memo sent on Tuesday to Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave and Village President Dave DeGroot, officials said they have been "performing site erosion sediment control inspections and reporting at least every seven days and within 24 hours after a rainfall event of 0.5 inches or greater." 

The memo said officials performed an inspection on Monday and recognized three primary issues:

  • Temporary suspension of dewatering activities at isolated locations

  • Installation of ditch checks on site prior to discharge of water to Lamparek Creek

  • Construction of additional temporary sedimentation basins in accordance with WDNR (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) Technical Standard 1064 or the diversion of stormwater to existing on-site sedimentation basins

Lois added that the village feels satisfied with the changes made.

“Even if we get a lot of rain, it’ll still handle it,” Lois said. “The village feels very confident considering all the work that’s been done out there and we only had one minor issue, (that) we’ve done fairly well.”

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Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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