Gov. Scott Walker Aug. 8 announced a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration for Vernon and seven other counties impacted by flooding in June.
The other counties named in the declaration are Ashland, Bayfield, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Richland, and St. Croix, as well as the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Bayfield County.
This declaration allows local governments affected by the June floods to apply for assistance, which will help communities recover some of the costs incurred through fighting the floods and repairing infrastructure such as roads and removing debris.
“We will continue to help Wisconsin communities recover from these damaging floods,” Walker said. “This assistance is a welcome financial relief to those communities impacted in June.”
Recently, Walker formally requested a federal disaster declaration for 11 Wisconsin counties hit hard by flooding. Although impacted by the event, Dane, Rock, and Sauk counties did not sustain enough damage to qualify for the federal assistance.
The flooding and damage occurred from June 20-28, after a series of severe thunderstorms dumped a total of 8-13 inches of rain over northwestern, southwestern, and south central Wisconsin causing significant damage. Some areas received 1-2 inches of rainfall per hour which resulted in flash flooding and mudslides.
Preliminary damage assessments determined the storms caused more than $9.2 million in damage to public infrastructure across the state.
Communities in the affected counties are now eligible for federal assistance. They should contact their county emergency management director for further information. The program is not for businesses or homeowners, as the level of damage in these areas do not currently meet requirements for federal relief.
Under the program, FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible costs, while state and local agencies share the remaining 25 percent. The major disaster declaration is for Public Assistance which covers eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships, and certain private, not-for-profit organizations.