Governor Jim Doyle is getting a first-hand look at the damage caused by flooding in southwestern Wisconsin.
Heavy rains have forced evacuations and caused millions of dollars in damages so far. Governor Doyle toured the flood ravaged areas on Monday morning. He says it's remarkable how high the water reached in many of the hardest hit areas, where as much as 12 inches of rain fell over the weekend.
The Governor has declared a state of emergency in Crawford, Richland, and Vernon Counties. Right now, he says the focus is on helping the hardest hit areas by making sure there were no injuries and getting the power and infrastructure restored.
Meanwhile, officials in Vernon County are watching at least six earthen dams that could be in trouble because of the heavy rains. The Governor says homes downstream from those flood control dams have been evacuated.
Damage estimates from the storms have already topped $24 million from just the three hardest hit areas. Governor Doyle says that amount will probably climb though as families who were evacuated return to their homes. Based on the damage he witnessed, the Governor is anticipating the state will request federal disaster aid funding.