Governor Scott Walker has declared a state of emergency for Dane, Grant, and Green counties.
The declaration comes after tornadoes and severe storms ripped through southern Wisconsin earlier this week, damaging homes and downing trees across the region. Walker says he has instructed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to aide those affected by the storms as they recover and rebuild.
Walker toured the damage in Platteville and Verona on Tuesday, just a day after six tornadoes touched down in the region causing millions of dollars in damage to dozens of homes. The wall of a Verona elementary school was also knocked down. At least five people were injured during the storms, although none were serious.
Dane County officials have tallied more than $15 million in damage from the tornadoes, and a second round of thunderstorms Wednesday. County Executive Joe Parisi reports almost $11 million in damage to homes and $4 million to public facilities — mostly to the Country View Elementary School in Verona. More than 150 homes and a dozen businesses were damaged in Dane County, mostly in Verona and Madison. At least two homes were destroyed.
In Green County, officials said 80 homes were damaged. At Platteville, three people were still in a Red Cross-Salvation Army shelter as of Thursday, in the wake of two tornadoes which hit that community. A tornado relief fund has been set up at Platteville’s Mound City Bank as the damage cleanups continue.
Once all the estimates are in, state officials expect to consider whether it’s enough to seek federal disaster aid.