President Barack Obama has signed a federal disaster declaration for parts of Wisconsin struck by severe storms, flooding and mudslides in late June.
Gov. Scott Walker last week requested aid for 11 counties and the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. His office announced on Thursday that FEMA has issued a major disaster declaration for Ashland, Bayfield, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Richland, St. Croix and Vernon counties as well as the Red Cliff.
The declaration allows local governments in those jurisdictions to apply for money to offset costs of fighting the floods and repairing infrastructure.
“We will continue to help Wisconsin communities recover from these damaging floods,” Walker said. “This assistance is a welcome financial relief to those communities impacted in June.”
Dane, Rock and Sauk counties were included in the governor's request but Walker's office says those counties didn't suffer enough damage to qualify for federal assistance.
The flooding and damage occurred June 20-28, after a series of severe thunderstorms dropped a total of 8 to 13 inches of rain over northwestern, southwestern, and south central Wisconsin, causing significant damage, according to a release.
Some areas received 1 to 2 inches of rainfall per hour, which resulted in flash flooding and mudslides.
Preliminary damage assessments determined the storms caused more than $9.2 million in damage to public infrastructure across the state.
Communities in the affected areas are now eligible for federal assistance and should contact their county emergency management director for further information, according to the release.
The program is not for businesses or homeowners as the level of damage in those areas does not currently meet requirements for federal relief.