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Despite extensive storm damages, no FEMA assistance for private property
In Crawford County
Newby Hollow Road damage
This view off the side of Newby Hollow Road gives a window into the kind of damage that floodwaters rolling off the Taylor Ridge uplands did on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. With leaf-on conditions, the full magnitude of the June 26 flash flooding event is hard to see, but likely this autumn when the leaves fall, it will be on full view.

CRAWFORD COUNTY - The total cost of damages in Crawford County resulting from catastrophic rainfall leading to flash flooding overnight between Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26, is reported to be more than $400,000.

All roads and bridges closed by the flash flooding have now been reopened. Some of the worst damage was among the last to be repaired. The bridge across Pine Creek on Duha Ridge Road was heavily impacted, but was reopened to traffic by Wednesday, June 30. Runoff left a precipitous dropoff on the side of Newby Hollow Road, which runs between Taylor Ridge Road and County E. The water moving down that valley emptied into Citron Creek, and contributed to damages on the County E bridge across the creek. According to the Highway Department, that damage was repaired as of Thursday, July 1.

According to Marc Myhre of Crawford County Emergency Management, the list of damages for the county are comprised of debris cleanup, protective measures, damages to roads/culverts/bridges, utility damage, and damage to recreational facilities.

The breakdown of damages by affected municipality, according to Myhre, is as follows:

• Village of Bell Center, $1,700

• Village of Eastman, still awaiting quote

• Village of Gays Mills, $15,000

• Village of Lynxville, $2,500

• Village of Soldiers Grove, $500

• Village of Steuben, $3,000

• Township of Clayton, $65,000

• Township of Eastman, $40,000

• Township of Freeman, $500

• Township of Haney, $35,000

• Township of Seneca, $200,000

• Township of Utica, $5,500

• Crawford County Highway Department, $50,000

Adding insult to injury, a storm on Tuesday, June 29, caused tornado warnings to be issued in the county. An Eastman firefighter is credited with reporting a funnel cloud that appeared to be dropping out of a cloudbank travelling south of the village, heading east. Fortunately, the tornado did not touch down and county residents were spared this additional weather catastrophe.

The storm did drop up to an additional four inches of rain, but the heavy rainfall appears to have fallen somewhat south of the areas affected by the heavy rainfall the weekend prior. Kim Dudenbostel in rural Steuben reported that they had received an additional four inches, but that “the creek stayed in its banks.”

Private property

In a press release dated Tuesday, July 6, Crawford County Emergency Management relates the following message regarding damage to private property from the June 25-26 flash flooding:

“We understand that this is a stressful and hard time for the residence of Crawford County that experienced storm damage to their personal property in the events that happened June 24th to June 30th.

“Damage reporting was collected and sent to the Wisconsin Office of Emergency Management.  This was in attempt to qualify for private FEMA assistance.  According to guidelines there is no set minimum damage level that qualifies a county.  As of July 2 the Crawford County Emergency Management Office was notified that the damages did not meet the level for FEMA eligibility.  

“Unfortunately, without FEMA assistance, there are no state or local assistance programs for private infrastructure.  We understand this is a stressful time for many.  Crawford County will continue to seek additional individual help if the opportunity arises.  At this time there is no assistance available to any residents through Emergency Management.  

“Crawford County will continue to work through the Wisconsin Disaster Fund for public infrastructure.”