Wisconsin Governor Declares State of Emergency After Flooding, Storms

February 5, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency in southeastern Wisconsin in the wake of severe winter storms that struck the region.

The governor issued an executive order declaring an emergency in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties in response to the storms Jan. 10-12. High winds and flooding caused significant damage along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The three counties earlier this week reported a combined $30 million in damage to public infrastructure.

The declaration directs state agencies to help people affected by the storms. It also allows the Wisconsin National Guard’s adjutant general to call troops to active duty to help local authorities.

Evers asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency earlier this week to perform a preliminary damage estimate, the first step in determining whether the state will seek a federal disaster declaration. FEMA officials are expected to do an assessment this week.

Gov. Tony Evers is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to do a preliminary damage estimate of severe winter storm and lakeshore flooding that struck southeastern Wisconsin earlier this month.

The process is the first step in determining whether Wisconsin will request a federal disaster declaration.

Evers said the storm, combined with high water levels on Lake Michigan, resulted in “significant shoreline damage to public infrastructure” in southeastern Wisconsin. Doing the assessments will help determine whether communities may qualify for federal aid to help them rebuild, he said.

The governor’s office said FEMA is expected to assess damage to public infrastructure next week in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties. Agency staff will not be assessing damage to homes or businesses, since much of that damage is covered by insurance or would not qualify for federal disaster assistance.

As of Monday afternoon, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties had reported a combined estimate of $30 million in damage to public infrastructure as a result of the Jan. 10-12 storms and flooding. Those preliminary numbers are expected to change.

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