FEMA probably coming

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FEMA expected to come to 12-county area, but not confirmed

Storm damage estimates not expected to change much

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The latest damage assessments show that there was approximately $16.3 million in total damages to public infrastructure in 12 southwest and west central Wisconsin counties, UW–La Crosse, Kickapoo Valley Reserve and the Department of Natural Resources because of the severe thunderstorm on July 19 and subsequent flooding.

It appears as though the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be coming to the 12-county area to review damage estimate reports from the counties and municipalities. Grant County Emergency Management Director Steve Braun said Monday afternoon that FEMA representatives are expected sometime next week, but it is not yet known when. Crawford County Emergency Management Director Jim Hackett was a bit more cautious in saying that the indications are that FEMA will be coming, but it has not yet been confirmed. 

Crawford County sustained an estimated $353,476 in damage to public infrastructure, with reports now having been received from the county and all townships, villages and cities. That figure is unlikely to change much, said Hackett, who noted that $353,476 is the total that will be presented to FEMA if and when they arrive.

Grant County’s damage estimate is $2.23 million, said Braun. Assessment reports from Grant County and all of its towns, villages and cities have now been received. Braun said that the total of $2.23 million could change slightly because a handful of projects are large and complicated.

Some of the higher totals for damage to public infrastructure such as public buildings, roads, bridges, parks and other public property in Grant County, are the village of Cassville ($630,000), the town of Cassville ($100,000), the town of Castle Rock ($150,000), the town of Glen Haven ($100,000), the town of Harrison ($200,000), the town of Waterloo ($200,000), the town of Beetown ($149,200), and Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative ($203,500).

In addition to Crawford and Grant counties, other damage estimates in the 12-county region include: Buffalo County ($367,000), Iowa County ($137,541), Jackson County ($76,000), La Crosse County ($4,515,300), Lafayette County ($1,225,000), Monroe County ($6,164,133), Pepin County ($20,000), Richland County ($200,500), Trempealeau County ($625,000), Vernon County ($320,000), UW-La Crosse ($75,000), Kickapoo Valley Reserve ($58,400), and the Department of Natural Resources ($555,420).

The estimates for damage to public infrastructure in each county will probably not change much in the coming days, said Wisconsin Emergency Management Crisis Communications Manager Lori Getter. 

“The counties impacted by the July 19-22 storms and flooding continue to work on damage assessments,” said Getter. “The numbers continue to remain in the same ballpark. We continue to work with FEMA.”

Should FEMA decide to cover damages, the federal government would pay for 75 percent of the cost to clean up and repair public infrastructure. The state would pay for 12.5 percent, and local governments would pay for 12.5 percent.

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