The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Walker requests disaster declaration


July 21, 2018

MADISON, Wis. — As expected, Gov. Scott Walker is asking the federal government to help parts of the state recover from the mid-June rainstorms that caused widespread flooding in several counties, including Iron County.

Walker sent a letter to President Donald Trump Friday asking for a federal disaster declaration for Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Burnett, Clark and Douglas counties.

“Federal damage assessments showed more than $13.1 million in damage to public infrastructure in northwestern Wisconsin. This is an area that is still recovering from major flooding that occurred in 2016,” Walker said in the announcement of his request. “We are hopeful that officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will understand how important it is for our state and these communities to receive federal disaster assistance to help recover from this disaster.”

Damage assessments done by state and federal officials found the over $13 million price-tag for the emergency came from costs associated with debris clearance, emergency protective measures and damage to roads and other infrastructure.

Iron County sustained a total of $707,000 in damage, according to Iron County Emergency Management Director Stacy Ofstad.

Heavy rains fell in the region during the weekend of June 15-17, causing flooding in areas and setting new flood records for several rivers in the region, according to the announcement.

If the federal declaration is issued, FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs, while the state of Wisconsin and local municipalities split the remaining 25 percent.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley issued a request for a federal disaster declaration July 9 for the damage sustained in Gogebic, Houghton and Menominee counties during the same storm.


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