Gov. Scott Walker announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct a preliminary damage assessment next week in 17 Wisconsin counties hit hard by flooding and tornadoes.
FEMA officials will begin looking at flood-damaged homes and public infrastructure Monday, Sept. 24, and the assessment should be done in about a week.
FEMA teams will assess damage to homes in Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Ozaukee, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties. Local and county officials will escort the teams to view homes that were destroyed or sustained major damage. The teams do not go inside the home, but rather will verify damage from the outside. Residents do not need to be home.
Local damage assessments show more than $108 million in damage to residences, according to the governor’s office. This includes 56 homes destroyed, 564 homes with major damage, and nearly 4,000 with minor or affected damage. In addition, 14 businesses were destroyed, 62 sustained major damage and 96 reported minor damage, with losses of nearly $49 million.
Flooding also caused more than $75 million in damage to public infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and dams, and emergency protective measures. Damage assessments to look at public assistance (infrastructure) will be conducted in Adams, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Iron, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Ozaukee, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.
Much of southern Wisconsin was hit with heavy rains, flash flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes during the latter part of August. A large portion of southwest to central Wisconsin had more than 10 inches of rain, with some areas measuring over 20 inches of rain, causing many major rivers, including the Baraboo and the Kickapoo rivers, to flood at historic levels. One person was killed in Dane County during flash flooding.
On Aug. 28, severe storms spun up 19 tornadoes and 90–100 mph winds in the east-central region, causing widespread damage.