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MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced that a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration has been granted for three Wisconsin counties. The declaration for Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Racine counties comes in response to severe winter storms that affected areas along the Lake Michigan shoreline on Jan. 10-12 of this year, causing extensive damage to public infrastructure throughout the region.

“I would like to thank the federal government for approving assistance for communities affected by these damaging storms,” said Gov. Evers. “The large waves and shoreline flooding that hit the region earlier this year resulted in significant damage to public infrastructure from Milwaukee to Kenosha. Without the support of FEMA, these communities would face a heavy financial burden.”

Today’s declaration allows local governments affected by the storms that occurred Jan. 10-12, 2020, to apply for assistance, which will help them recover some of the costs incurred through emergency protective measures, repairing infrastructure, and removing debris.

“The state will work closely with communities included in the declaration and FEMA to ensure they receive federal assistance as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator. “We appreciate FEMA moving swiftly to ensure this valuable help is available.”

Beginning on Jan. 10 of this year, a winter storm system that included high winds caused shoreline flooding along Lake Michigan. The flooding resulted in damage to infrastructure to ports, breakwaters, public trails, and other public infrastructure at multiple locations along the shoreline.

The major disaster declaration covers assistance to public entities, and will cover eligible projects submitted by counties, cities, townships, and certain private, not-for-profit organizations. The Public Assistance program is not for businesses or homeowners, as the level of damage in these areas does not currently meet requirements for federal relief. Local governments in the declared counties are now eligible for federal assistance and should contact county emergency management directors for further information. Under the program, FEMA provides 75 percent of eligible costs, while state and local agencies share the remaining 25 percent.

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