FEMA to assess northern Wisconsin damages from June floodingA Federal Emergency Management Agency team is coming to northern Wisconsin next week for a preliminary assessment of the damage stemming from the June 19-20 storm that caused flooding in the region.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A Federal Emergency Management Agency team is coming to northern Wisconsin next week for a preliminary assessment of the damage stemming from the June 19-20 storm that caused flooding in the region.
The team is most likely to be here Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, said David Sletten, Douglas County emergency planner and risk manager. He said with the damages at the University of Wisconsin-Superior being so substantial, Douglas, Bayfield and Ashland counties have decided to determine if the region meets the FEMA threshold of $7.7 million in damages to get federal aid.
Sletten said there are no guarantees.
“It’s not a gimme,” said Emergency Manager Keith Kesler. He said the governor would still have to communicate with the president the need and the president would have declare a state of emergency before the region would be eligible for FEMA funding. Combined, Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties don’t have sufficient damage to meet FEMA’s criteria for public damage, but with the damage at the university it could, he said.
President Obama did declare a state of emergency for Minnesota counties affected by the storm.
While UW-Superior’s insurance adjusters are still working to assess the extent of the damage, which affected all the buildings on campus and the power plant for the university, a “conservative estimate” of the damage is between $15 million and $20 million, said UWS spokeswoman Lynne William.
Kesler said if successful in garnering federal flood aid, it would not include assistance for individuals because the criteria has not been met. The county is directing homeowners to the United Way and is working with the Small Business Administration to try to get low interest loans to help individual homeowners affected by the storms.