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Whitefish Bay – The rain came but it did not conquer.

A downpour brought more than 2 inches of rain in about an hour to the Whitefish Bay area on Aug. 30, putting the 2013 improvements made at a local park to the test.

“That storm was definitely a test of the work the village has been doing to improve storm and sanitary sewers in an effort to help with flooding issues we experience so frequently,” said Tom Fehring, Whitefish Bay resident and former village board trustee.

Following the work done to overhaul the baseball diamond and add water retention to Cahill Park in 2013, Fehring said he was curious to see how the improvements held up in the recent storm.

“A big part of that project involved reconfiguring the west half of the park to add a retention area so it’s always been of interest to me to see how it would work in a major rain event,” said Fehring, who drove over to Cahill Park to investigate for himself after the Aug. 30 storm.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see the retention pond seems to work, and also entertained to find there is endless capacity of young kids willing to try new thrills,” Fehring joked, after witnessing a group of young adults biking down the slope and across the pond. “It’s nice to see the system functioning as it should to allow the water to slowly drain through the storm water system instead of causing issues with flooding.”

The detention basin filled only about a third during the Aug. 30 storm, according to Village Manager Steve Sheiffer.

“That means it’s doing as it was intended, protecting the south section of the village from flooding,” said Sheiffer. The village contributed about 12.5 percent to the $2 million in improvements in 2013, the majority of which was covered using federal grant money.

“That basin functions well to benefit anywhere between a third and half of the village during a major rain event,” Sheiffer added.

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