Bad River Tribe dealing with the aftermath of Ashland County flooding

Published: Jul. 13, 2016 at 10:35 PM CDT
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ASHLAND COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- Clean up continues tonight in several northern Wisconsin counties after severe storms caused major flooding earlier this week.

The damage is so severe, Governor Walker has declared a state of emergency, and many roads remain closed.

As many continue to deal with the aftermath, Professor Patty Loew from UW-Madison says things have actually taken a turn for the worse.

Loew, who is in Bad River for a month long outreach program, explains.

"There was a gas rupture and now there's no gas to any of the residences or businesses in Bad River."

To add insult to injury, they also lost power.

"The lodge and casino have emergency generators but nobody else has electricity."

Then the sanitary system maxed out.

"There's some parts of the reservation where people are telling me that there's raw sewage bubbling up from their basement," says Loew.

Despite the setbacks, the priority has now been shifted to helping out one another.

"There was a helicopter sent today, it landed in the casino parking lot. It was pretty dramatic. 5 dialysis patients were loaded aboard and taken to Fresenius Medical Center in Ashland for dialysis."

Loew says the community has shown an outstanding amount of generosity.

"People were packing lunches and organizing summer feeding programs for kids. My crew followed some of the people who were delivering meals to people that were stranded and couldn't get out of their homes."

She anticipates it will be at least another day before the bridge is repaired, even with help from other counties.

"We counted at least a dozen large vehicles, front end loaders, gravel dump trucks, and things."

In the meantime, many are putting things into perspective and counting their blessings.

"Things can be replaced, but human beings of course can't."

Copyright 2016: WMTV