Gov. Tony Evers announced the state is requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) in Wisconsin. The PDA will look at 17 counties and two tribal reservations impacted by storms that occurred in the state July 18-20. These storms produced at least 17 tornadoes and straight-line winds in multiple counties, downing trees and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people. The process is the first step in determining whether the state will seek federal disaster assistance.
Teams from FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) will work with local, tribal and state officials in viewing public infrastructure damage. The PDA will not be assessing damage done to individual homes, cabins or businesses.
Counties covered by the PDA request are Barron, Clark, Forest, La Crosse, Langlade, Marinette, Menominee, Monroe, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Polk, Portage, Rusk, Vernon, Waupaca, and Wood counties, along with tribal lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
Current local damage assessments show more than $14 million in damage to public infrastructure has been reported to the state. Most of those costs are for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and damage to electrical equipment owned by municipal and rural electric cooperatives. The numbers are expected to fluctuate as counties continue to work on compiling costs associated with the storm clean-up.
Multiple state agencies have staff and other resources out in the field assisting with local recovery efforts, including the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Corrections. Significant cleanup efforts continue in Langlade, Polk, and Barron counties.
LOCAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTERS OPEN
The Langlade and Polk County Emergency Operations Centers have transitioned to virtual operations.
LOCAL EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS
A total of 52 county/municipal declarations and two tribal declarations have been issued.
STATE AGENCY RESPONSE
Wisconsin National Guard
The Wisconsin National Guard has debris clearance teams supporting efforts in Polk, Barron,
and Langlade counties.
WI Department of Administration
DOA has disaster recovery assistance available to local units of government for housing rehabilitation, public facility/infrastructure repair, and business assistance utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Application information for the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) can be found at the following link - https://doa.wi.gov/Pages/LocalGovtsGrants/Community-Development-Block-Grant-Emergency-Assistance-Program-.aspx
WI Department of Corrections
The DOC had a strike teams made up of DOC staff and inmates assisting with debris removal operations Friday in Barron and Langlade counties.
WI Department of Natural Resources
The DNR continued to assist Friday with clean-up efforts in Langlade County.
WI Department of Health Services
The Department of Health Services (DHS) says replacement FoodShare benefits are available for an extended period of time for most of western, northern, and central Wisconsin. Members in qualifying counties have until August 19, 2019 to request replacement benefits.
Power has been restored throughout the affected areas.
Alliant Energy continues to work on equipment retrieval in central Wisconsin. Alliant Energy expects to gather remaining equipment like transformers, poles, wires or other company items from affected areas by the end of the day on Friday, August 2. If Alliant Energy customers notice any equipment from the company on or near their property after August 2, they should call the company at 1-800-255-4268.
The National Weather Service forecasts a chance of thunderstorms across much of the state Friday afternoon through Tuesday, but severe weather is not anticipated. No other hazardous weather is expected over the next week.