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FEMA in Barron, Polk counties to determine if July storms caused a federal disaster

(WQOW) – There is no doubt July’s severe storms caused massive damage throughout the state, but was it enough to classify as a federal disaster?

FEMA is in Wisconsin this week to determine if that damage is enough to meet the threshold. The agency has three teams surveying 18 counties and two tribes.

Tuesday, they wrapped up assessments in Polk County and are working in Barron County. They are focusing on data reports and receipts from the wreckage left behind from the storms and flooding that occurred July 18 to July 20.

This is the first step to receive federal funding to rebuild infrastructure for the counties impacted.

“So, one of the things that we look at is the overall impact in a community,” said Troy Christensen, a media specialist for FEMA. “Some communities are able to recover more quickly from storms, and others may take a bit longer. One of the things that we look at is overall damage totals, and that amount is about $8.5 million for the state of Wisconsin, so we are looking at that being about the threshold for a federal disaster declaration.”

FEMA is focusing on damage to public entities, not homes or businesses. Once complete, the FEMA assessment report will be sent to state leaders who will then decide whether it can apply for a presidential disaster declaration.

McKenna Alexander

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