Gov. Walker Declares State Emergency in Northwest Wisconsin

By KBJR News 1

June 26, 2012 Updated Nov 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM CDT

Superior, WI (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- Wisconsin Governor Scott Governor Walker has declared an emergency for most areas in Northwest Wisconsin. This includes the City of Superior, Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland Counties.

Walker and U-S Congressman Sean Duffy were led by representatives from northwest Wisconsin through saw of the hardest hit homes, soaked and wrecked in last week's flood.

The governor saw only a fraction of the devastation but says it was enough to move him to declare a state of emergency.

Some basements in Superior saw feet of flood water after creeks, rivers, and streams overflowed their banks following Wednesday's torrential rains.

Tuesday, City and County officials outlined the extent of damages, and ultimately, what they believe they need from the federal government. They said they hoped to get federal assistance for the extensive damage suffered in the area, and they were hoping for help from the leaders.

"Seeing it is devastating. Most of the things in their basement are totally destroyed and a good chunk of their living room and add-on among others were destroyed. That's a huge disaster no matter what the declaration," said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Tuesday in Superior, after seeing the damage.

"It's catastrophic for all the families in the community that are experiencing water damage. You have memorabilia lost, plus this massive finical loss," said Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy.

Despite the extent of damage Governor Walker says federal funding is not a sure thing.

"There is a distinction at the federal level in terms of a presidential declaration, we don't appear to have that level in Wisconsin that they do in Minnesota with Duluth's," said Walker.

Wisconsin residents can improve the odds however, by documenting every inch of damage.

"There is an analysis that's done in regard to the dollar amount and the number of homes and they can commute whether the state or the feds can come in and help," said Duffy shortly after touring a flood damaged home.

"Pass that information on because the more the cities, the counties, and the state get that information, the more options we'll have available to us," said Walker to a group at the Salvation Army in Superior.

With some 540 basements sustaining significant damage every dollar will help.

"I encourage everyone that has experienced damage in this storm to make sure that officials know about that damage can be commuted in regard to FEMA," said Congressman Duffy.

Lawmakers are working with city and county officials in an attempt to get every possible type of disaster assistance. Both the Superior and Douglas County's website's have forms to document flooding damage.

People are also strongly encourages to take pictures to go with the documentation.

Zach Vavricka

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