Walker requests federal disaster aid for Northern Wisconsin flooding

Gov. Scott Walker today requested a federal disaster declaration for three northwest Wisconsin counties hit hard by last month's flooding. The request is for federal assistance to help local governments recover from the disaster.

Walker requested federal disaster assistance for Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas Counties as well as the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. "Last month's flash flooding damaged hundreds of roads and culverts, as well as the UW-Superior campus," Walker said. "The financial impact is a huge burden on many of these towns and villages."

The Public Assistance Program would help communities recover some of the costs incurred through fighting the floods, protecting citizens and repairing infrastructure. The program is not for businesses or homeowners, as the level of damage in these areas does not currently meet requirements for federal relief.

Later in the day, however, Walker announced that he has requested the Small Business Administration to declare Douglas County a disaster area due to damages incurred by June flooding. The declaration would allow homes and businesses affected by the flooding to apply for low-interest loans and begin renovations.

On June 19 and 20, a severe thunderstorm dumped 8 to 10 inches of rain over northwestern Wisconsin, causing significant damage to homes, businesses and roads. The University of Wisconsin-Superior was hit particularly hard, sustaining water damage to 14 buildings including the library and power plant.

Last week, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and Wisconsin Emergency Management conducted damage assessments with local officials in the impacted communities. They verified more than $8.6 million in damage to the public infrastructure. If the federal declaration is approved, FEMA provides 75% of eligible costs.Gov. Scott Walker today requested a federal disaster declaration for three northwest Wisconsin counties hit hard by last month's flooding. The request is for federal assistance to help local governments recover from the disaster.

In Douglas County, a representative from the SBA completed initial damage assessments and reported more than 25 residences and businesses sustained significant damage and uninsured losses in excess of 40%.

Walker requested federal disaster assistance for Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties as well as the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. "Last month's flash flooding damaged hundreds of roads and culverts, as well as the UW-Superior campus," Walker said. "The financial impact is a huge burden on many of these towns and villages."