September 18, 2014

Governor seeks disaster assessments up north

State emergency officials are joining federal officials in touring damage in northern Wisconsin from recent floods and high winds. The disaster assessment teams want to determine whether the state could be eligible for federal disaster aid after more than six inches of rain pounded the region in just two days in June. “Right now what we’re doing is we’re helping to really button down on exactly how much damage there was due to flooding, what are the costs of that damage, and what might qualify for either federal funding or state funding.”

Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management is among those viewing the damage, along with experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies. “Working together to assess the damage … we’re looking at public damage — public infrastructure, roads, culverts, buildings, University of Superior.”

U-W Superior was among the hardest hit by the floods. School officials estimate damage at up to $20 million to various buildings and facilities — including the campus heating plant, library, and Pritchard says the entire basement was full of water.

FEMA crews were expected to be in Superior for most of this week.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration is also inspecting the area to determine flood damages to homeowners. The information gathered during the tour could be used to request federal low-interest loans.

Officials are assessing flood damage in Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas Counties and on the land of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:41