"It was a doozy." …Those words from a Congressman working to help constituents in his district to recover from the flooding .

Five counties in southwestern Wisconsin are disaster areas , and all five — La Crosse, Sauk, Richland, Vernon and Crawford counties — are part of the 3rd Congressional district , represented by Democrat Ron Kind . He says the damage sustained in his district is nothing short of devastating.

"But it's also incredibly inspirational, seeing how quickly the community rallied and pulled together in order to help one another. I think it's, to a great extent, why we didn't have any human tragedies – no loss of life, no serious injuries."

Kind says it's going to take a long time to repair and rebuild the communities and get them back on their feet; that's why he's working closely with Governor Doyle in submitting a formal request for federal disaster aid.

"Already we're looking at tens of millions of dollars worth of private and public property damage, and it's gonna require the help at all levels – from the federal, from the state, from local entities all pulling together to try to make these people whole again."

Kind says the low lying area has suffered tremendous crop loss, and that comes just before harvest time. The farm service agencies will be working with farmers to get good damage assessments on those crops, as well as lost livestock.

(Thanks to Bob Meyer of Brownfield for contributing to this story.)

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:22 MP3)

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