What is a Water Surge like on the Bay of Green Bay?

A water surge is the result of strong winds usually coming from the north-northeast.   These winds cause the water to move south along the Door County Penninsula into the Fox River in Green Bay.  The water eventually moves against the DePere Dam on the south end.  

As the water accumulates at the dam it begins to back up into the Bay raising the water level.  This can amount to inches or several feet depending on the strength and duration of the winds.  An example would be on Aug. 4, 2017.

On that date, the Bay of Green Bay experienced a storm “surge” of at least 3 – 4 feet.  

This particular “surge” raised the level of the Bay throughout the early morning hours.  Most people were not even aware of what was happening.  As a result, they did not have an opportunity to do anything to protect their docks or boats.  The wind velocity continued to rise throughout the day.

Those winds caused waves of 4’- 9’ on top of the water surge.  The damages to shorelines, docks. boats and lifts were considerable.

People reported waves bouncing their boat on their lifts for hours.  Many could only watch as the waves swept their dock decking away.  Others watched helplessly as their boats were swept off their lifts.  (You don’t want that to happen with weak or damaged cables.)

There was considerable damage to boats, docks, decking and boat lifts.  Recovery efforts took several weeks, and repairs are ongoing.

What can you learn from this storm?

Check with your Insurance Company now.

A final point, check with your insurance company to see if you have coverage in the event your boat is swept off the lift. What about your boat lift?  Is it covered for storm damage?

This may require a “rider” to get coverage.  Many insurance companies cover wind damage but not wave damage.  It’s all in how you word the claim.  Your agent should be able to assist you to make sure you have the proper coverage.

Also, check for boat and/or lift salvage coverage (a worst case scenario.)

Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions located?

PWS is located at 7325 St. Hwy 42/57. That’s 1 mile North of County MM (Hwy 42) and 3 miles South of Sturgeon Bay. Look for the Idlewild Road intersection.

Our staff is ready to assist you year round.

Don’t forget – Give us a call If you want to see an issue discussed on our site.

Call Jerry at 920-493-4404 or Email Jerry@wisconsinpws.com for more information.