Contact: Steven Michels
Madison, Wisconsin – Following Governor Scott Walker’s State of Emergency declaration for Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties, members of his cabinet will hold roundtable discussions with local government officials and emergency managers from the area on Thursday.
Representatives from the Department of Administration (DOA), Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), and Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) will take this opportunity to hear the immediate and long-term needs of the communities.
WHAT: Walworth County Discussion with Local Government Officials and Emergency Managers
WHEN: 8:00 AM
Elkhorn, WI 53121
WHAT: Racine County Discussion with Local Government Officials and Emergency Managers
WHEN: 11:00 AM
Burlington, WI 53105
WHAT: Kenosha County Discussion with Local Government Officials and Emergency Managers
WHEN: 2:00 PM
The Department of Administration (DOA) has funding available through Community Development Block Grant Emergency Assistance Program (CDBG-EAP). The funds may be used to assist eligible, low to moderate income homeowners for housing rehabilitation, business assistance, and repair local public infrastructure. Local communities should work with the Division of Energy, Housing, and Community Resources to apply. Please visit their website or call (608) 266-7531. The Department of Administration also notified local governments that they may use state contracts to purchase goods and services as they recover from flooding and storm damage. A complete list of contracts available to municipal governments can be found on the State’s procurement website, Vendor Net. Questions related to state contract can be directed to Jim Langdon, Administrator of Enterprise Operations at [email protected] or (608) 264-6109.
The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will connect affected farmers for assistance and counseling through its Farm Center. The connection can be made by dialing(800) 942-2474. Food businesses suffering flood damage and needing assistance in determining whether the food can be salvaged should contact James Beix of the Division of Food and Recreational Safety at(608) 224-4665 or [email protected]. Major storms bring transient home improvement workers and scams to Wisconsin communities. Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128 or [email protected] to check on complaints against particular contractors.
The Department of Health Services (DHS) is working with local health departments and local human services departments to provide flood-related resources and assistance as requested. One such resource is the Wisconsin Flood Toolkit, which is designed to aid local leaders in offering clear and accurate information about protecting people and property before, during, and after a flood. You can find the Wisconsin Flood Toolkit here. DHS is collaborating with local health and the State Lab of Hygiene on supplying test kits for private wells to local health departments for distribution within their communities. Private well users can contact their local health department with any questions about private well testing. Current FoodShare members living in Racine, Walworth, and Kenosha Counties, who had food lost or damaged due to the July 11 and 12 flooding can request replacement of FoodShare benefits. FoodShare members are eligible for replacement of benefits in the amount of the food lost, but not more than their monthly allotment. FoodShare members must request replacement benefits within 10 days of the loss. DHS is currently seeking a waiver with the federal government to allow up to 30 days for these requests to be made (until August 11); however that waiver has not yet been granted. FoodShare members affected by flooding in Kenosha, Racine, or Walworth Counties who wish to request replacement benefits should fill out this form and submit it to their local income maintenance agency.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) floodplain engineers, dam safety engineers, the DNR wastewater team and others have been on site all along the flood impacted area monitoring dams on the Fox River and wastewater facilities that were threatened by the initial flooding. DNR law enforcement wardens have been on site assisting local law enforcement officers on such things as initial evacuations, traffic flow, and other public safety issues. DNR crews remain in the area assisting with recovery efforts, dam repairs, and providing guidance on what permits might be needed for repairs. You may contact Joseph Liebau Jr. with questions at (414) 263-8570.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) worked closely with other state agencies and local units of government to provide information and services to impacted areas. Region staff coordinated with counties and locals to close flooded roadways and provide detour information. As water receded, they immediately conducted roadway and bridge inspections to ensure that they were safe to open. They are still actively monitoring WIS 50 as more rain is in the forecast. State Patrol also provided aerial support units to assess and survey flood damage. They also provided dignitary protection for officials as they visited the flood-damaged areas. Questions can be directed to Mike Pyritz, WisDOT SE Region Communications Manager at [email protected] or (262) 548-8833.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) released a statement regarding the recent severe storms in Wisconsin and included information on flood insurance and important tips in dealing with storm aftermath. In addition, representatives from OCI assisted flood victims at the Multi-Agency Resource Center at Burlington High School in Racine County and at Riverview Elementary School in Kenosha County. You may contact OCI with questions at (800) 236-8517 or e-mail at[email protected]. If you need to file a complaint, you may file online at OCI’s websiteoci.wi.gov.
Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) continues to work with local and county officials assessing the damage and coordinating state resources. WEM is also working closely with FEMA and other federal agencies to provide situational awareness and review all possible disaster resources. Questions on state emergency management efforts can be directed to Robby Stoikes, Recovery Section Supervisor,[email protected] or (608) 242-3226.
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has emergency housing assistance grants available through its Natural Disaster Program. The grant monies provide short-term, emergency housing assistance to residents who lost their homes due to the flooding. The grant is awarded to a local community service provider to administer the funds. For additional information, contact Kevin Fischer, WHEDA, (414) 227-2295 or (608) 354-3580, [email protected].