Crawford County to get FEMA funding

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Steuben received major flooding following the July 19 storm. A county road in Steuben was just one item of public infrastructure that was severely damaged in the county. President Trump on Tuesday gave his major disaster declaration for Crawford and 10 other counties.


County to get FEMA storm damage funding

By Ted Pennekamp


Crawford County will receive $353,476 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to help cover the costs of damage to public infrastructure as a result of the severe storm of July 19.

On Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker announced a FEMA major disaster declaration for 11 counties impacted by flooding and high winds in western Wisconsin. The counties include Buffalo, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Jackson, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon.

“We are pleased these communities will receive this disaster assistance from FEMA,” said Walker. “I would like to thank President Trump and FEMA for providing this assistance. It will help many communities as they continue to repair roads and bridges left damaged by the flash floods.”

Crawford County will get the full amount it asked for because all of the county’s projects for repairing the damage were approved at a meeting with FEMA at the Highway Department Building near Seneca on Aug. 16.

Crawford County was the only county that had no project denied, and the price the county quoted was approved, said Hackett.

After the Aug. 16 meeting, the approved totals for Crawford and the other 10 counties were sent to the president and awaited his FEMA declaration.

Hackett said it usually doesn’t take long for such a FEMA declaration, but the process for the 11 western Wisconsin counties was delayed because the widespread devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria needed immediate attention. Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25. Irma hit on Sept. 10, and Maria hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. 

Severe storms moved across western Wisconsin from July 19-22. The heavy rains caused flash flooding and several rivers to rise to major flood stage. FEMA damage assessments showed more than $10 million in damage to public infrastructure in the region.

The major disaster declaration is for public assistance, which covers eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships and certain private, not-for-profit organizations. FEMA funding will help pay for the damages to roads, bridges, public buildings, parks and other public infrastructure. The program is not for businesses or homeowners.

FEMA will pay for 75 percent of the cost of damage to public infrastructure. The county will pay for 12.5 percent and the townships, villages and cities combined will pay 12.5 percent.

Hackett has praised the work of Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock, County Board President Tom Cornford, county officials, township chairs and officials from all municipalities who were very accurate on their damage estimates and were very efficient and on time.

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