USA – Federal Disaster Declaration for Wisconsin Floods

Governor Scott Walker announced yesterday a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration for northern Wisconsin counties impacted by flooding in July 2016.

The counties named in the declaration are Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Florence, Iron, Sawyer and Washburn Counties and the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe. Although impacted by the event, Price County did not sustain enough damage to qualify for the federal assistance.

Governor Walker said:

“This declaration allows local governments affected by the July floods to apply for assistance, which will help communities recover some of the costs incurred through fighting the floods and repairing infrastructure such as roads and removing debris.

“We will continue to work with the communities to help them quickly recover from the flooding.”

Last week, Governor Walker formally requested a federal disaster declaration for those areas impacted.

Multiple rounds of storms hit the area beginning 11 July 2016, bringing 8 to 12 inches of rain that caused widespread damage. Flash floods damaged numerous roads and bridges, washed out culverts, and devastated Saxon Harbor. Three people died during the floods in Wisconsin.

Wascott, recorded 10 inches (254 mm) of rain in 24 hours between 11 and 12 July, Gurney recorded 9.65 inches (245 mm) during the same period.

Preliminary damage assessments determined the storms caused more than $25 million in damage to public infrastructure across the state.

In a statement yesterday, the governor said that the major disaster declaration is for Public Assistance, which covers eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships, and certain private, not-­for-profit organizations. The program is not for businesses or homeowners, as the level of damage in these areas does not currently meet requirements for federal relief.

Flood damage in Iron County, Wisconsin. Photo: Iron County Sheriffs dept
Flood damage in Iron County, Wisconsin. Photo: Iron County Sheriffs dept
Flood damage in Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Ashland County, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Ashland County, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Ashland County, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol
Flood damage in Ashland County, Wisconsin. Photo: ReadyWisconsin / Civil Air Patrol

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 21, 2016
Event
Wisconsin and Minnesota, USA, July 2016
Date
July 11 to July 15, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin were hit by severe flooding after rainfall of up to 10 inches (254 mm) fell overnight from 11 to 12 July.

Locations

A - Cable, Bayfield County, Wisconsin
B - Saxon Harbor, Iron County, Wisconsin
C - Aitkin, Aitkin County, Minnesota

Magnitude

Rainfall level
254 mm in 24 hours
Wascott, Wisconsin - July 11 to July 12, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
3 people
Wisconsin - July 11 to July 15, 2016
Total damage assessment
32.5 million
Wisconsin - July 11 to July 15, 2016
Wisconsin emergency management officials reported 20 July preliminary estimates of flood damage, totalling around $32.5 million in public infrastructure damage.
Buildings destroyed
11 buildings
Wisconsin - July 11 to July 15, 2016
350 houses suffered some form of damage in Wisconsin, 30 of them major damage and 11 totally destroyed.