Gov. Scott Walker
Press Release

Governor Walker Requests Federal Disaster Aid for Western Wisconsin Due to September Flooding

Governor Scott Walker today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a federal disaster declaration for 12 western Wisconsin counties after torrential rains and flash floods last month caused more than $11 million in damage.

By - Oct 11th, 2016 04:58 pm

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a federal disaster declaration for 12 western Wisconsin counties after torrential rains and flash floods last month caused more than $11 million in damage to roads and public infrastructure. The request is for federal assistance to help local governments recover from the disaster.

“Once again, heavy rains caused flash flooding and mudslides over a large section of our state causing widespread damage to homes, businesses and roads,” Governor Walker said. “We need the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to quickly approve this request. The flooding has put huge strains on many local budgets and time is of the essence as crews are working hard to get these roads and bridges repaired before winter begins.”

Governor Walker requested federal disaster assistance for Adams, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau, and Vernon Counties. Last week, FEMA, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Emergency Management conducted damage assessments across the impacted areas with local officials.

The Public Assistance Program would help communities recover some of the costs incurred fighting the floods, protecting citizens, removing debris, and repairing roads and other infrastructure. The program is not for businesses or homeowners.  However, Governor Walker is working with other federal and state agencies to see if there are additional programs that could provide assistance to flood victims.

Heavy rains pummeled western Wisconsin September 21-22, causing flash floods, mudslides, and washed out roads. The ground was already saturated from previously heavy rainfalls that had occurred since August. County emergency management officials reported numerous roads, bridges, and other infrastructure damaged in the flooding. During FEMA assessments, Vernon County had over $5.2 million in damage.

If the federal declaration is approved, FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible costs. The state of Wisconsin and local communities impacted share the remaining 25 percent.

Governor Walker also issued Executive Order #217 today adding Juneau County to the list of counties previously declared in the State of Emergency due to the floods. In recent days, Juneau County reported new public infrastructure damage caused by the September storms to Wisconsin Emergency Management.

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