MADISON – Governor Scott Walker requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct preliminary damage assessment in seven northwestern Wisconsin counties after torrential rains in June caused more than $11 million in damage to roads and bridges.

“Northwestern Wisconsin was hit hard with flooding across the region,” said Governor Walker. “The damages I saw firsthand from the storms were tremendous. We look forward to possibly requesting federal disaster assistance after FEMA has also had the opportunity to assess the damage.”

Heavy rains fell June 16-17, 2018 causing record flooding across portions of northwestern Wisconsin.  Numerous roads and culverts were washed out. Several area rivers set new flood records. 

FEMA officials will look at damage to public infrastructure in Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Iron and Pepin counties. Local officials have estimated $11.1 million in debris clearance, emergency protective measures and damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

County damage assessments to homes and businesses in those counties showed one home destroyed, two homes sustained major damage, and 60 with minor damage. There were six business with major damage and ten with minor damage. While many families and businesses were impacted by the flooding, the local damage assessments showed the state would not qualify for federal aid for individuals.  State agencies and non-profit agencies are working to help those families with unmet needs.

FEMA teams will begin assessing damage the week of July 16, 2018. The assessment is expected to take a few days to complete. Information gathered will be provided to Governor Walker to help determine if the state will request a federal disaster declaration. The damage assessment is the first step to request federal disaster assistance.

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