“This declaration would help many municipalities:” Gov. Walker requests federal disaster funds for winter damage
MADISON (WITI) — Governor Scott Walker has requested a federal disaster declaration for local government costs associated with the record severe winter weather of 2013-14. The counties in the declaration request are Chippewa, Clark, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Marathon, Milwaukee, Winnebago, and Wood.
This declaration would help pay for $11.3 million in damage to public infrastructure in those counties. Examples of damage include broken water mains and frozen water towers due to the extreme cold and record setting frost depths.
“The devastating cold overwhelmed many of our towns, villages, cities, and counties,” Governor Walker said. “This declaration would help many municipalities pay for these unexpected damages.”
Initial Uniform Disaster Situation Reports (UDSR) showed damage from the extreme cold totaled in excess of $25 million in 69 Wisconsin counties. After those initial reports came in, Wisconsin Emergency Management submitted a sample group of counties representing a cross-section of the state for a technical review.
The selected counties supplied extensive data on the depth of frost and on the documented damage. This review became the Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) for those counties which were listed in the disaster declaration request submitted today.
If the declaration request is approved, PDA’s will be conducted in other affected counties to see if they would be eligible to be added to the declaration.
This assessment process is only the first step in determining if Wisconsin qualifies for a presidential disaster declaration. Damage to public infrastructure must reach $1.39 per capita for the state, which is approximately $8 million. Also, individual counties would have to reach their $3.50 per capita amount to qualify for public assistance. The counties listed in this disaster declaration surpassed this threshold, as did the state.
The second step is to show the severity of the damage and the need for the assistance due to local and state resources being overwhelmed.
Damages to homes and businesses did not meet requirements for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration for individual assistance.