July 29, 2014

Feds declare disaster from flooding

Far northwestern Wisconsin has been declared a disaster area in the wake of heavy flood damage in mid-June. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Governor Scott Walker’s request for disaster aid in Douglas, Ashland, and Bayfield counties and the Red Cliff Ojibwe reservation near Bayfield.

The area received more than six-inches of rain in a two-day period, with almost $9 million in damage to public infrastructure. FEMA pays 75 percent of eligible costs for fighting floods and repairing public amenities like roads and bridges. State and local government split the rest.

Walker said there was not enough damage to qualify for FEMA’s individual disaster aid. But the governor arranged to have homes and businesses in Douglas County qualify for help from the Small Business Administration.