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.

As of Thursday afternoon, it was estimated about 8,000 utility customers were still without power in the state. WPS reported about 5,000 customers in Oconto and Langlade County, 1,000 WPS customers in the Stevens Point/Plover/Waupaca area, and 1,000 near Rhinelander are waiting for service to be restored. Dairyland Electric Cooperative reported about 1,000 customers in the Polk, Burnett, and Barron county areas were still without service.

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

Langlade County

Portage County (Enhanced Monitoring)

Wood County (Enhanced Monitoring)

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 also issued local disaster declaration.

ESTIMATED PUBLIC DAMAGES

The preliminary estimate for public sector costs associated with the storm is about $2.3 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 engineer assessment teams operating in Polk, Barron, and Langlade counties. Debris clearance teams from the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard are supporting efforts in Polk and Barron Counties on Friday. A 400-gallon water trailer was delivered Thursday to Barron County.

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

A strike team made up of DOC staff and inmates is currently assisting Langlade County with a woodchipper through Saturday. Two inmate chainsaw teams will assist with debris removal operations in Barron County on Friday and Saturday.

WI Department of Natural Resources:

The DNR currently has staff working in Barron, Langlade, and Oconto counties. Most of those personnel are working on debris removal operations. DNR Forestry is working with Barron and Polk Counties to assist with coordinating and supporting volunteer cleanup operations planned for this weekend.

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.

https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/wp-content/uploads/Incidents/2019/DATCP_20190724StormChasers.pdf

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

The OCI issued a release on Wednesday urging 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.

https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/wp-content/uploads/Incidents/2019/OCI_NewsReleaseStorms20190724.pdf

VOLUNTEER AGENCY RESPONSE

Volunteer Reception Centers

Centers have been established in Polk and Barron counties where volunteers looking to assist with clean-up efforts can gather for assignments on Friday and Saturday.

·       Polk County

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.

·       Barron County

Barron County Justice Center

1420 STH 25 North in Barron, WI

FRIDAY – SATURDAY

7AM – 7PM

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

Reception centers have remained open in Wood County at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, in Portage County at the Rosholt Fire Department, and in Oconto County at the Doty Town Hall. These locations have been providing water, snacks, and charging stations. The Rosholt location was scheduled to close Thursday night.

Team Rubicon

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

2-1-1 Wisconsin is collecting damage reports and referring callers to available disaster resources. Residents can also report damages online at: https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/damage-report

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The National Weather Service is forecasting severe weather is possible in northwestern Wisconsin on Friday afternoon and evening, which could produce damaging winds, hail, and potential tornadoes. The severe weather risk is expected to continue through the weekend for central and northern Wisconsin.

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