Wisconsin Emergency Management continues to monitor and support power restoration and debris removal operations still underway in the state, following powerful storms over the weekend that produced at least 16 tornadoes and straight-line winds in multiple counties.
Approximately 700 Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) utility customers remain without power following last week’s storms. Work continues around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible.
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.
The state continues to work with county and tribal partners to collect damage estimates. Residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211 to report damage done to private property. Property owners can also contact 2-1-1 for information on volunteer assistance that may be available in their area.
LOCAL EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTERS OPEN
LOCAL EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS
Several counties have declared a State of Emergency in response to the storm damage, including Clark, Langlade, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Polk, Portage, Sawyer, and Vernon counties. In addition to counties, several communities in the affected areas have issued local disaster declarations.
ESTIMATED PUBLIC DAMAGES
The preliminary estimate for public sector costs associated with the storm is about $5.3 million. Many counties have not yet reported any of their costs to the state, and these numbers are expected to fluctuate as cleanup and assessment efforts continue. Most of the costs incurred so far are for emergency protective measures and debris removal.
ESTIMATED PRIVATE DAMAGES
Damage assessments to private property are ongoing. Residents in affected counties are encouraged to document their damage and report the information to the state’s 2-1-1 service by calling 2-1-1 or 877-947-2211.
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 offers disaster recovery assistance 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
Department of Corrections
Strike teams made up of DOC staff and inmates have been assisting with debris removal operations in Langlade and Barron counties.
WI Department of Natural Resources:
The DNR has staff working in Barron, Langlade, and Oconto counties on debris removal operations. DNR Forestry is working with Barron and Polk counties to assist with coordinating and supporting volunteer cleanup operations this weekend. The DNR is also coordinating with the DOT for the use of portable message boards to get information out to motorists.
WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
DATCP is warning property owners to be on the lookout for traveling contractors, who may try to take advantage of the situation. Affected property owners are being urged to seek trusted contractors for repairs and to be leery of "storm chasers" that come knocking at your door with aggressive sales tactics.
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
OCI continues to urge affected property owners to document damage to their property and to not make any repairs until they have talked to their insurance agent. Keep any receipts for repairs that are done.
VOLUNTEER AGENCY RESPONSE
Volunteer Reception Centers
Volunteers were out in Barron and Polk counties on Saturday, working to remove debris from private property and assist with clean-up efforts. Polk County will continue volunteer operations on Sunday. Any volunteers are asked to report to a reception center at the following location:
Unity High School
1908 WI 46 in Balsam Lake, WI
FRIDAY – SUNDAY
8AM – 4PM
Bring a photo ID, wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, long-sleeve shirts, safety glasses, hearing protection, and work gloves. Bring a bag lunch. Bug spray and sunscreen recommended. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Unaffiliated volunteers are strongly encouraged to check in at the volunteer reception site. By checking in volunteers receive liability coverage. Every hour volunteered provides financial relief to local towns.
Resident Reception Centers
A reception center to assist residents affected by the storms will remain open in Oconto County at the Doty Town Hall through Monday.
Team Rubicon is currently mobilized in Langlade County with two teams conducting damage assessment and two teams cutting debris. Team Rubicon is working off the list of damages reported to 2-1-1.
2-1-1 Wisconsin is collecting damage reports and referring callers to available disaster resources. Residents can also report damage online at: https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/damage-report
A weak cool front is expected to trigger scattered thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening. There is a marginal risk for these storms to become severe. The front will return on Sunday as a warm front with only small chances of thunderstorms. Better chances for showers and storms will be late Sunday night into Monday as the cold front slowly passes.