First estimates of flooding damage come outThe first flood damage estimates are coming in from Wednesday’s record flood in far northern Wisconsin.
By: Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The first flood damage estimates are coming in from Wednesday’s record flood in far northern Wisconsin.
Flood water still covers some roads, and Superior can’t get a look at its sewer and water system, so these are only preliminary figures: City infrastructure damage is at $2 million. It’ll take $3.5 million to $5 million to repair damage to 14 buildings at UW-Superior.
Although first estimates were that 75 homes in the Superior area had significant damage, now State Senator Bob Jauch of Poplar says that figure has increased at least five-fold.
“It had a substantial financial impact on local businesses, local communities and particularly almost 500 homeowners in Douglas and Bayfield Counties.”
In Wisconsin Dells Friday, Governor Walker says he’s following the emergency. He says Douglas and Bayfield County storm damage is being overshadowed by the more extensive situation in Duluth.
“We know from their updated reports, we’ve had a couple each day, that Duluth is much more severe. They’ll probably be eligible for a Presidential disaster (declaration) in Duluth. There’s specific criteria you have to hit to get that as well as the state but we’ll be looking very closely as to what we can do to assist.”
With close to 500 homes damaged in the region, Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen says that’ll be part of the flood tour.
“We’re going to take him to several affected areas, might have him talk to some homeowners. He was very interested and directed the conversation, ‘What about the homeowners?’”
Democratic State Representative Nick Milroy of South Range says state agencies and the governor are in contact from Madison.
“So I think they’re on the ball. It would have been nice to have the Governor up here to see the extent of the damage because we really want the governor to declare this a state of emergency so that local municipalities can have the resources to make repairs in a timely fashion.”
Other storm damage reports are just coming in. Superior Salvation Army’s food shelf was flooded, the food is rotten and it will be closed for a week. Wash-outs along the Apostle Island sea caves and trails have forced that area to close.
Eight to 10 inches of rain fell in Superior and Douglas County on Tuesday and Wednesday.