President Obama has declared the flood area of far northwestern Wisconsin a federal disaster area. The designation will mean relief to an area struggling to pick up the pieces of the June 20 flood.
The Lakeside Township in Douglas County had the most damage of any of the rural communities outside of Superior. Township Chairman Tom Johnson got the good news late Thursday evening.
The declaration covers uninsured public infrastructure damage in Ashland, Bayfield, and Douglas Counties. Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler says the once-in-a-century flood overwhelmed the budgets of small towns.
Now, Kesler says, FEMA will move in and let the paperwork begin.
With the disaster declaration, the federal government will pay for 75 percent of the cost of repairs, the state 12.5 percent, leaving 12.5 percent for local governments.