Emergency officials assessing damage in northern Wisconsin countiesASHLAND, Wis. — Wisconsin and county emergency management officials are getting an idea of the cost local governments are facing in light of last week’s flooding.
By: By Danielle Kaeding /97.7 WRNC-LP/Ashland, Wis., Superior Telegram
ASHLAND, Wis. — Wisconsin and county emergency management officials are getting an idea of the cost local governments are facing in light of last week’s flooding.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland Counties on Tuesday after touring the Superior area.
Lisa Olson-McDonald is the Interim Northwest Regional Director for Wisconsin Emergency Management. Olson-McDonald says Douglas County is reporting the most damage to the public sector thus far with preliminary estimates hovering around $1.7 million. That number doesn’t include damage to the University of Wisconsin-Superior, which she believes will push damage estimates higher after insurance adjusters weigh in there.
The bulk of the damage from flooding in the public sector is to road infrastructure, according to the emergency management director. Olson-McDonald reports preliminary road damage estimates of $1, 679,000 in Douglas County and $700,000 in Bayfield County. Ashland County has reported around $200,000 in damage to its public sector.
The city of Mellen in Ashland County has also reported significant damage to one major business there and emergency management officials are still assessing the extent of the damage in the three northern counties.
As of yesterday afternoon, there were 13 reports of major residential damage in Superior according to FEMA criteria. FEMA determines major damage to homes if they have 8 feet or more of flooding or flooding on the first floor. There are no reports of any destroyed homes in Douglas County.
Olson-McDonald says all three counties are eligible for funding from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund, which makes money available to local governments that are denied federal disaster assistance.
Applications for disaster funding can be found online at http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov/recovery/government.asp.
Olson-McDonald says the costs of damage from a disaster would have to exceed a statewide total of $7.7 million in the public sector to warrant a presidential disaster declaration.
Superior and Douglas County officials are asking that residents report any flooding damage they have suffered to the City’s Environmental Services Division at (715) 394-0392, at the city or county websites, www.ci.superior.wi.us/flooding or www.douglascountywi.org or by email at Esdpwfirstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Report your name, address or location, phone number and damage assessment. Also include whether any portion of the damage is covered by insurance.