POLK COUNTY -- Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes joined with Senator Patty Schachtner (D- Somerset) in Polk County [Wednesday] to tour recent storm damage and meet with local leaders near Round Lake in the St. Croix community.
Several weeks ago, the area experienced severe storms with straight line winds that reached 90-100 mph, as well as hail and heavy rain. The storm caused extensive damage to crops, homes, trees, and power lines. The St. Croix Chippewa Tribe is working with the Department of Emergency Management to clean up the damage and begin to rebuild.
After spending the morning meeting with Chairwoman Susan Lowe and Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist Pete LaBlanc to discuss this effort, Senator Schachtner and Lieutenant Governor Barnes visited a storm damage site near Round Lake.
“The amount of damage this community has experienced seems overwhelming, but I know that with the support and generosity present in our area, they will be able to rebuild. I often talk about the resiliency and strength of the people of western Wisconsin, and in the wake of this storm we have seen it in action,” said Senator Schachtner.
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes stated, “The storms that hit our state earlier this month have had a devastating impact on the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. I applaud the tribe for working quickly to ensure all tribal members remained safe and I also applaud the other tribes of Wisconsin for lending a helping hand during clean-up. After seeing the damage, it’s clear there is still much work to be done. I look forward to seeing Polk County and the state of Wisconsin do all they can to assist the St. Croix Chippewa during this time of need. It’s critical for the safety of all people in the impacted area.”
Residents that experienced damage to their property due to the storms that occurred between July 18th and July 20th are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211 for information on volunteer assistance that may be available in their area.
Governor Tony Evers announced on Friday August 2, 2019 that the state is requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) in Wisconsin. The PDA will look at 17 counties and two tribal reservations impacted by storms that occurred in the state July 18-20.
Teams from FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) will work with local, tribal and state officials in viewing public infrastructure damage. The PDA will not be assessing damage done to individual homes, cabins or businesses.
Counties covered by the PDA request are Barron, Clark, Forest, La Crosse, Langlade, Marinette, Menominee, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Polk, Portage, Rusk, Vernon, Waupaca, and Wood counties, along with tribal lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.