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Chippewa County tornado cleanup estimated to cost $3 million

Chippewa County (WQOW) – It has now been one week since an EF-3 tornado devasted parts of Elk Mound and the town of Wheaton.

Chippewa County Emergency Management officials say the cost of cleaning up what the tornado ripped up is sitting at roughly $3 million.

Officials say the storm destroyed 14 homes and caused major damage to 15 others. The estimate also covers the cost of equipment, labor, removal costs and more. Chippewa County Emergency Management Director Dennis Brown stresses this is a very rough estimate and that it’s too soon to have specific numbers.

Governor Evers issued a disaster declaration following the storms.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk says it’ll take some time before they know if the county will receive state assistance to help cover the costs.

“It’s a slow process, a very very slow process,” Kowalczyk said. “It’s time consuming, it’s a lot of figures, a lot of calculating. Eventually, we’ll get notice whether or not we’re eligible.”

The tornado damage does not yet meet the $8 million threshold to qualify for a FEMA aid, but the county has 60 days to submit costs to qualify for the Wisconsin Disaster Fund.

If approved, Chippewa County will be reimbursed for up to 70% of the costs.


McKenna Alexander

McKenna Alexander is the weekend anchor and a multimedia journalist for News 18. She started in June 2019. She was born in San Francisco, but spent the majority of her life growing up in Dallas.

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