Weather Authority Alert

Southern Wisconsin: State of Emergency

UPDATED Thursday, May 7, 2009 --- 11:03 a.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- Nearly a year after heavy rainfall flooded much of southern Wisconsin, officials in Sauk and Columbia counties say some residents still need help.

About 1,700 people there signed up for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. Workers estimate about 10 percent still need financial or structural assistance.

Baraboo Police Chief Dennis Kluge says one case involves a woman with multiple sclerosis. After FEMA left, her basement wall began sagging, and she was too overwhelmed by paperwork to seek help.

Now volunteers are combing FEMA lists looking for people who still need aid.

The flooding happened last June in the southern two-thirds of the state. About 39,000 residents registered for aid in the 30 state counties declared eligible for assistance.

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UPDATED Thursday, December 11, 2008 --- 12:00 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- The federal government has paid only about one-tenth of the $4.3 million in claims Columbia County and municipalities in it submitted for June flood damage to roads and infrastructure.

Emergency Management Director Pat Beghin told the Columbia County Board of Supervisors judiciary committee Wednesday the claims probably won't be paid until next year.

He also says he expects them to continue to rise.

All four Columbia County cities -- Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Columbus and Lodi -- reported damage, as did most of the towns and villages.

The town of Caledonia had the largest claim: more than $1.06 million. So far, it has received nothing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Chairman Steve Pate says he believes Caledonia will get its money, but in the meantime, it owes a hefty sum for road repairs.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Saturday, November 22, 2008 --- 12:00 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) --- Nearly six months after severe storms caused flooding and other damage in southern Wisconsin, scores of residents continue to struggle with cleanup.

A caseworker for Columbia County's Long Term Recovery project says a number of families have used up their financial aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency but still have more damage to repair or clean.

Fred Baewer says those needs range from a new dehumidifier to eradication of mold from still-moist basements. He says some families have the building materials to fix their damage, but not the skill to do the work.

Columbia County Emergency Management director Pat Beghin estimates 150 to 300 Columbia County residents have needs FEMA could not meet.

Some of those may qualify for the county's federally funded Emergency Assistance Program.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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*** PREVIOUS STORIES ***

UPDATED Friday, July 4 --- 5:30pm

Madison, Wis. — Disaster aid to Wisconsin residents recovering from recent severe storms and flooding has reached $1.3 million per day, state and federal officials announced today. The total amount for housing and other needs distributed since the June 14 presidential disaster declaration for Wisconsin is more than $26 million.

Recovery summary as of close of business July 3, 2008:

- 27,351 residents have registered for Individual Assistance in the 29 declared Wisconsin counties.

- $23.3 million in Individual Assistance has been distributed for temporary housing and repair and replacement of storm-damaged housing.

- $2.9 million has been provided for other disaster needs such as transportation, medical and dental expenses, moving and storage fees, and replacement or repair of personal property.

- 22,847 home inspections have been completed.

- 3,895 individuals have visited the 12 Wisconsin Disaster Recovery Centers.

Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) urge Wisconsin individuals, families and business owners who live in disaster-declared counties and suffered damage in June from severe storms, tornadoes and ongoing flooding to apply for disaster assistance grants and low-interest SBA loans.

Residents who sustained storm and flood-related damage may register or update their information by calling the toll-free registration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. Lines are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. CDT. Residents also may register online at www.fema.gov.

Homeowners, renters and business owners can receive information about SBA disaster loans and obtain help with the application process by calling the SBA at 1-800-659-2955, by visiting the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov, or by talking to an SBA customer services representative at any DRC.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, July 2, 2008 --- 3:15 p.m.

FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Dane County

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is opening a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at 4318 Robertson Rd., Madison, WI 53714 (see attached map). The DRC will open Monday, July 7 from 1:00 - 7:00 pm and from 10:00 am - 7:00 pm every day after that. The DRC will remain open until further notice. Agencies represented at the DRC include FEMA and the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). Home owners, renters, and businesses can receive face-to-face assistance and information at the DRC.

“We appreciate FEMA’s quick work to get much-needed help to Dane County home and business owners who suffered damage in last month’s flooding,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.

Although persons may register for federal assistance at the DRC, they strongly encouraged to register BEFORE visiting the DRC. This will save time and effort for all visiting the DRC. Persons staffing the DRC can review individual applications and provide information regarding the types of assistance offered by the federal government.

FEMA is encouraging all persons who were impacted to make a formal application for assistance. If persons have questions regarding their qualification for assistance, they should make application with FEMA. Damage information reported to local units of government is NOT an application for federal assistance. Completing the application is the first step in the process to access federal assistance. Applications may be made either :

- Over the Internet, at ,
- By telephone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or
- TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities.

If registering by telephone, the process can be expected to take 20 - 30 minutes. Whether registering online or over the telephone, be prepared to record a FEMA Application number. The application deadline for individuals and households applying federal assistance is AUGUST 13, 2008!

Residents who are directed to complete a SBA loan application must submit that completed application BEFORE they can advance through the individual assistance process. The SBA loan application serves as a “catch-all” indicator of need-based assistance to individuals. Submitting an SBA loan application DOES NOT obligate applicants to a loan.

Dane County’s web site has a link to FEMA’s disaster assistance registration web page. Residents are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to read FEMA’s Help After Disaster, Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals & Households Program (also available on Dane County’s web site) before starting the disaster assistance process. The guide provides an overview of the process and information they need to have ready to apply for federal disaster assistance.

Disaster Recovery Center
DIRECTIONS TO FEMA’s DRC: Go to U.S. Highway 51/Stoughton Road. Take the Milwaukee Street exit ramp. Travel East on Milwaukee Street for 0.3 miles and turn onto South Stoughton Road/Arnold Street for 0.1 miles and then turn left on Robertson Road.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 2 --- 9:15pm

Madison, Wis. — Beginning Monday, July 7, the Sauk County Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Reedsburg will operate at the Reedsburg Middle School.

The DRC will close at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at its current location, Reedsburg High School, and will reopen 1 p.m. Monday, July 7, at its new location, the Reedsburg Middle School.

Through 7 p.m., July 6

Reedsburg High School
1100 S. Albert Ave.
Reedsburg, WI 53859
Reopens 1 p.m., July 7

Reedsburg Middle School
707 Webb Ave.
Reedsburg, WI 53959

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until further notice.

More than 700 residents of Sauk and nearby counties have visited the Reedsburg DRC since it opened June 16.

Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened the DRC in Reedsburg to help disaster-affected individuals and business owners with their questions and provide them with information on state and federal disaster programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration staffs the DRC with customer service representatives to explain the agency’s low interest disaster loan program and assist residents with their loan applications. Representatives from other state, federal and volunteer agencies also may be able to assist visitors to the DRC.

Those affected by June storms and flooding are urged to register for disaster assistance by going online to www.fema.gov or by calling the toll-free helpline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairment. The helpline now operates 24 hours a day, but beginning July 4 will be available 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 2 --- 9:15pm

Madison, Wis. –Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) operated by Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will open on Monday, July 7, in Dane, Jefferson and Rock counties.

Dane County
Disaster Recovery Center
4318 Robertson Road
Madison, WI 53714

Jefferson County
UW Extension
864 Collins Road
Jefferson, WI 53549

Rock County
New Life Assembly of God Church
2416 N. Wright Road
Janesville, WI 53546

A DRC is set up to help individuals and business owners who are registered for disaster assistance with their questions and provide them with information on FEMA disaster programs. The U.S. Small Business Administration staffs the DRC with customer service representatives who can help explain the disaster loan program to homeowners, renters and business owners. Representatives from other state, federal and volunteer agencies are also available assist the applicants.

Anyone affected is urged either to call FEMA’s toll-free helpline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), to start the registration process (those with speech or hearing impairments can call TTY-1-800-462-7585). Beginning Friday, July 4, telephone registration will be from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Registration also can be done online at www.fema.gov 24 hours a day.

Residents of 29 Wisconsin counties may be eligible for disaster unemployment for loss of income caused by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Adams, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties since June 5.

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CRAWFORD, VERNON COUNTY DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS TO CLOSE JULY 6

Madison, Wis. – The Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in Crawford and Vernon counties will end operations at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 6, disaster officials announced today. Applicants with questions still can call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA.

“The number of applications received in these two areas has declined, and we feel that the majority of those needing assistance have taken advantage of these centers’ services,” said Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) Dolph Diemont. “Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Wisconsin keep DRCs open for as long as needed in each location.” As FCO, Diemont heads up the U.S. government’s side of the disaster response and recovery in Wisconsin.

To date, the DRC in Crawford County, at North Crawford High School, 47050 County Road X in Soldiers Grove, has provided help to nearly 100 individuals and business owners. In Vernon County, the DRC at Living Faith Church, 852 N. Main St. in Viroqua has assisted more than 160 applicants with their disaster-related questions and concerns.

“We take a close look at all DRC activity and are committed to providing the best service possible to all those applying for disaster assistance,” Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Johnnie Smith said. “When we determine an area has been successfully served, we can then close that center and move its staff to a new area that has yet to be served.”

Anyone affected is urged to either call the FEMA’s toll-free helpline, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), to start the registration process (those with speech or hearing impairments can call TTY 1-800-462-7585) or register online at www.fema.gov. Both registration services are operational 24 hours a day.

“Anyone who applies for disaster assistance can access their needed information through the FEMA helpline,” Diemont continued. “The DRC is set up as a way for applicants to meet face to face with representatives from the various agencies providing disaster assistance. This same help is available from representatives staffing the helpline service at 1-800-621-FEMA.”

Residents of 29 Wisconsin counties may be eligible for disaster assistance for damages caused by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Adams, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties since June 5.

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Emergency Information From the State of Wisconsin

State Highway Road Closure Information MAP

State Highway Road Closure Information

To Submit Your Pictures and Videos of Storm Damage
You can also click on the above link to view storm damage photos from southern Wisconsin.


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