Governor Scott Walker signed Executive Order #107 Wednesday, July 25, which declared a state of emergency in Ashland, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Richland, and Vernon counties, as well as St. Croix and Ashland counties.
Walker toured flood damaged areas of southwestern Wisconsin with the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and local officials. The Governor directed state agencies to aid those affected by the flooding and called the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty, as Adjutant General Donald Dunbar deems necessary, to assist local authorities in the recovery efforts.
“The damage caused by flooding in Wisconsin has the full attention and resources of the state,” Governor Walker said. “I have instructed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to aid those affected by the flooding as they recover and rebuild. I thank Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Wisconsin National Guard, and all state agencies for their coordinated response to this emergency.”
Walker is directing state agencies to help residents in the following ways:
· The Wisconsin Department of Administration will work with communities to make emergency assistance funds available to eligible homeowners for rehabilitation. Funds for qualifying businesses will also be made available as well as funds to repair public infrastructure, where eligible. Local communities should work with the Division of Housing to apply.
· The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will connect affected farmers with crop damage and livestock shelter needs for assistance and counseling through its Farm Center and Animal Health Division. The connection can be made by dialing 800-942-2474.
· The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will provide assistance for residents and local governments concerned about well contamination. Also, the DNR will monitor dams in the affected areas, as well as make available for eligible communities assistance for flood mitigation. The DNR will also open up public lands for farmers with fields impacted by flooding to mow hay for livestock.
· The Office of Commissioner of Insurance will make available assistance for property owners filing claims, who have been impacted by the flooding. Homeowners can contact the OCI helpline for assistance with their homeowner insurance coverage. They can visit www.OCI.wi.gov or call 1-800-236-8517.
· The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority will provide access to emergency funding for local assistance organizations giving assistance to affected residents. For homeowners with WHEDA home loans, they will work with homeowners to accommodate them in this time of need. For more information, homeowners can contact WHEDA at 800-562-5546.
· The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will work with local communities to make funds available for infrastructure repair. The Wisconsin State Patrol will also work to manage road traffic and closures in the affected areas. Staff are inspecting and documenting the impacts and damages to existing infrastructure, including the deployment of soil engineers to survey mudslides.
· The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has been and will continue to be in contact with local health departments to provide assistance. They will be working with DNR to monitor water quality concerns and will continue to work with other state and local partners to provide public health assistance.
The Wisconsin Department of Corrections was assisting in Crawford County with two strike teams from Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution to assist with the flood in Gays Mills and Prairie du Chien. They helped with sandbagging and debris cleanup. County emergency managers can contact correctional institutions to request additional assistance.