‘Families are hurting:’ Walker requests FEMA assessment after flooding, tornadoes

MILWAUKEE — Governor Scott Walker has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a preliminary damage assessment in Wisconsin beginning Sept. 24 for flood and tornado damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure. This, after storms brought heavy rain to Wisconsin beginning in mid-August, and 19 tornadoes statewide on Aug. 28.

This is the first step in requesting a federal disaster declaration.

“Many Wisconsin families are hurting following the devastating flooding and tornado outbreak that has impacted our state in the last three weeks. We want to get federal disaster relief as quickly as possible to help these families and communities recover,” said Walker in a statement.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, teams from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will coordinate with state and local emergency management officials beginning Sept. 24 to view major damage to homes and businesses as well as public infrastructure such as roads, dams and bridges. The assessment will take approximately a week to complete. Once done, information gathered will be given to Governor Walker to use in his request to President Donald Trump for a federal disaster declaration.

The release says the state is working with local officials to determine which counties FEMA will assess damage.  In some, officials are still waiting for rivers to drop below flood stage to view damage. As of Thursday, Sept. 13, major flooding was still occurring on the Rock River at Lake Koshkonong. The National Weather Service said it crested, but wouldn’t be below major flood state until Friday or Saturday because it is a huge body of water and is slowly receding.  Both the Fox and Rock Rivers will remain above flood stage through the end of next week.

Homeowners and business owners that sustained storm and flood damage are encouraged to please report it by calling 211 ASAP.