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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Federal aid funding approved for a flooded Wisconsin

Federal emergency aid is on its way to help areas across the state recover from last month's torrential flooding after several Wisconsin legislators petitioned the Trump administration for funding.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., announced in a press release Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Transportation had released the $1.5 million aid package. The funding will help the state repair infrastructure destroyed by the successive rounds of flooding throughout August.

“Wisconsin communities across our state have been hard hit and I have worked to secure federal support that will help us recover,” Baldwin said. “This federal road funding is a good first step to help us rebuild our roads so Wisconsin families and businesses can move forward."

Sen. Baldwin joined U.S. Representatives Ron Kind, Mark Pocan and Glenn Grothman in appealing on the Trump Administration to act quickly to make federal funds available and support recovery efforts in communities across the state.

The flooding wreaked more than $39 million of damage on public infrastructure, according to a Dane County Emergency Management estimate released Wednesday. The department attributes the majority of the public sector's costs to damaged public utility services, like electric and sewage infrastructure, followed by loss of and expense to public buildings and equipment.

“Damages to Wisconsin's highway system was caused by multiple and on-going rounds of thunderstorms, heavy rain, high winds, and hail,” Baldwin said in the release. “The storm events, affecting all areas of Wisconsin, caused widespread flash flooding, closed roadways, damaged bridges and culverts, and compromised critical infrastructure.”

The aid comes as the southern parts of the state continue to grapple with the effects from the flooding that began more than two weeks ago. In Madison, some roads are still closed, and on the Yahara Chain, Lake Monona and Lake Mendota are at record highs.

In other parts of the state, the week’s continued rainfall led to more evacuations in Coon County, more road closures in the Eau Claire area and a mudslide that stopped traffic for more than an hour in Genoa, as well as countless business closures and reports of residential nuisance flooding.

This marks the second time that the federal government has approved disaster relief funding for Wisconsin this summer. In July, President Trump signed off on a similar aid package meant to assist counties in northwestern Wisconsin to recover from the heavy June floods that destroyed miles of roads and outed several bridges.

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