(MADISON) – Five years ago, most of southern Wisconsin was dealing with devastating flooding that killed three people, forced hundreds of people to evacuate, damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, farms and businesses, closed interstates and roads and drained Lake Delton. Flood waters and storms caused more than $763 million in damages.
“This was one of the most devastating flooding events in recent years,” said Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) Administrator Brian Satula. “A lot of lessons were learned during those weeks of flooding and months and even years of recovery efforts.”
A State of Emergency was declared for 31 counties and federal disaster assistance was made available. Some of the statewide damage and assistance totals included:
•40,814 households applied to FEMA for disaster assistance
•23,956 eligible households received federal disaster aid
•$56,579,489 distributed statewide for the Individual Assistance program
•844 local governments and state agencies applied for disaster aid receiving $65.9 million in federal assistance to repair roads and remove debris
•35 emergency shelters were opened and provided emergency housing for 2,623 people
•Volunteer agencies served over 77,000 meals
•2,500 private wells were tested with 28% contaminated
•Records were set on 38 river gauges
•WEM provided over 700,000 sandbags
Since the 2008 flooding, the Department of Military Affairs has been active in long-term recovery efforts for communities such as Gays Mills and Rock Springs. The hazard mitigation efforts include:
•27 local governments applied for and received mitigation funds totaling over $28 million to reduce future flood damages. The funding was used for elevating buildings, developing local hazard mitigation plans and buyouts.
•192 flooded properties statewide were acquired and demolished to date.