First Steps Taken to Recieve Federal Help for Tornado Victims

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

In the aftermath of last week's tornadoes which ripped through south-central Wisconsin, Monday Dane County Executive, Kathleen Falk, says the learning process continues. "Today what we're learning from citizens now are their hopes to rebuild and what are the obstacles getting in the way of that, that we can help them with," says Falk.

"We have been cleaning up, gathering all our refuse to the side of the street so that we can start rebuilding again," says Pleasant Springs resident, Beth Ulring.

More than 300 Stoughton-area tornado victims filed into Stoughton High School Monday afternoon, to gather information on everything from what to do with fallen foliage, to where to take trash.

"There's a lotta people that're concerned about, you know, the dumpsters were here one day, now they're not here the next day, but, you know, we'll get through all that," explains another Pleasant Springs resident, Dick Spangler.

And they'll do so with the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will tour tornado-ravaged areas Tuesday. "Taking a look at what damage there was, how many homes were destroyed and businesses, how many were impacted. Also, what were some of the emergency costs, not only with response but the debris clean up," says Lori Getter, of Wisconsin Emergency Management.

Getter says FEMA's visit makes reporting any and all property damage critical to the continuing effort. "The best thing that they can do -- whether they have a few singles off, or their house was partially destroyed -- is to call the county emergency management office to let them know. So that we have a good picture, good numbers of how much damage the storms caused last week," says Getter.

To report damage in Dane County call (608) 266-4330, and in Richland County, call (608) 647-8187.

Getter says local governments will also benefit from their residents' damage reports, explaining they are eligible to receive reimbursements for some cleanup costs, including the overtime.

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