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Recovery begins

(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) A tree lays across Norwood Avenue in Superior on Wednesday, Oct. 10.1 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) Even the sidewalk was torn up as crews work on clearing East Seventh Street in Superior on Wednesday, Oct. 10, after a large tree fell across the street near Central Park. 2 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) Parts of Central Park in Superior are underwater the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 10, after heavy rains and winds moved through the area.3 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) An up-rooted tree lays across a house at 2409 Hammond Ave., Superior, on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Heavy rains and strong winds downed trees in the area.4 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) Even the sidewalk was torn up as crews work on clearing East Seventh Street in Superior.5 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) A tree lays up-rooted in Central Park in Superior on Wednesday, Oct. 10, after strong winds and rain moved through the area. 6 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) Crews works on clearing East Seventh Street in Superior on Wednesday, Oct. 10.7 / 8
(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) A tree lays on top of the shelter at Hammond Park in Superior on Wednesday, Oct. 10.8 / 8

Joshua Moyer was home with his daughter when the power went out Wednesday, Oct. 10, on Hammond Avenue in Superior. Nearly an hour later, he decided to check the temperature in the house.

Just as he pushed the button on his digital thermostat, there was a big boom and the whole house shook.

"I'm like, 'Oh my God, I think I just blew the furnace up,' but it wasn't that," Moyer said Thursday, Oct. 11. "I peeked out the back window and there was nothing there. I opened the front curtains and I was like, 'Oh, crap.'"

The tall pine tree that grew between his and his neighbor's properties had toppled and landed solidly on his roof, punching three or four sizable holes into the attic.

Three days of rain and gusty winds took its toll across Superior.

Streets and boulevards citywide were littered with leaves and broken branches. Downed trees, intermittent street flooding, power outages and project delays were some of the impacts of high winds and rain this week.

Linda Cadotte, the city's director of parks, recreation and forestry, said crews spent the day Wednesday dealing with broken and downed trees in city parks and on street boulevards. She said while it involved some overtime, the crews cut and cleaned up 43 trees Wednesday and were back out Thursday with more reports of trees that were down.

By Thursday morning, there were already calls about nine additional trees down.

Moyer said city crews had already removed the tree Thursday morning that had landed on his home. The tree was growing in a city right of way, absolving him of the responsibility for removing it himself.

"Central, Gouge and Hammond parks all had at least one tree down," Cadotte said. "We are hopeful that the tree that fell on the pavilion in Hammond is just resting on it, and it didn't sustain major damage."

A couple of trees were down over the road on Wisconsin Point, which still hasn't been assessed for damage and debris on the beach. The full impact of this week's 5-plus inches of rain and high winds is still being assessed.

"There have been residents calling regarding water in basements, but we do not have a tally of those numbers or the causes," Public Works Director Todd Janigo said.

For the most part, the city's sewer system kept up, with no combined sewer overflows reported, Janigo said. He said there was one sanitary sewer overflow at Lift Station No. 5 near East Second Street on 25th Avenue East, which occurred over a five-hour period.

"There has also been some intermittent street flooding while the storm drains catch up during more intense periods of rain," Janigo said.

Central Park was underwater for a period of time, but that was by design. When the city designed the project to replace the culvert under Hill Avenue at Faxon Creek in 2016, it was made to alleviate the widespread basement flooding that occurred during the flood in 2012.

The park was intended to serve as a floodplain.

"Because it is a 10-foot-tall pipe and the park doesn't have sheer 10-foot-high walls to contain the creek, the water levels going up in the park are exactly what we would expect," Janigo said.

"Central Park stormwater system responded exactly as it is designed, and the pipe didn't reach capacity," Cadotte said.

Crews working to complete the two-year reconstruction of Belknap Street spent the day Wednesday battling signs and barrels to keep them in their proper locations, Janigo said. Several times during the day, he said they would move the signs and barrels back into position, only to have them blown down again.

Cadotte said the city still needs to assess the impact on trails and the effect high water in the bay had on work to restore the Barker's Island beach.

"We will not be able to make a determination about the extent of project damage, increased costs or potential ... delays until the water level goes down," Cadotte said. " The project is not scheduled to be completed until next summer, so I am hopeful that it'll be able to be recovered."

Moyer was hiring a contractor Thursday to make an emergency repair and was meeting with his insurance adjuster.

The family — Moyer's fiancee, two kids, a niece, two dogs, two cats and a bearded dragon — were all safe and able to stay in their home Wednesday night, Moyer said.

"We spent the night here last night. I had buckets up in the attic that were catching water under tree branches that punctured through the roof," he said.