Trash and debris collects near a
floating dock on the Fox River in Waukesha as Dave
Kragenbrink, left, and his family, from left, Bobbie,
Jessica, 5, Megan, 12, and Rachel, 10, walk along a trail
WAUKESHA - It’s official - last week’s storms left Waukesha
County a disaster.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday that
President Bush would include five more Wisconsin counties, including
Waukesha, in a disaster declaration because of flooding and storms
that recently socked the region. That status opens up the option for
grants and low-interest loans for people recovering from
thunderstorms that soaked the county with up to 8 inches of rain in
Municipal estimates for the damage are now at $87.7 million, up
another $3.2 million from earlier in the week, though that total
remains fluid, said County Executive Dan Vrakas. The public land and
expense portion of that overall cost is approaching $4 million, and
FEMA officials will be back again next week to set up a reporting
center and to assess municipal bridges, roads and waterways, said
Vrakas’ chief of staff, Allison Bussler.
In reviewing the area Monday and Tuesday, FEMA crews visited
Pewaukee and its swollen lake that continues to flow into the
downtown, town of Summit neighborhoods under water from a nearby
breached dam, Phantom Lake’s threatened dam in Mukwonago and the
raging Fox River in Waukesha.
"We saw some properties that were severely damaged,
destroyed, some properties that had blown out walls, properties that
had been tagged by fire marshals across the county as uninhabitable
... ," Vrakas said.
Residents can now just report flooding damages to FEMA through a
phone number or Web site or, later, an emergency center established
in the county, Bussler said. FEMA will make money available for
individual recovery efforts and basic needs such as home repair and
temporary housing costs, according to a news release from Vrakas.
Also, the Small Business Administration, which observed damages
here, too, will make low-interest loans available to renters,
homeowners, business owners and nonprofit organizations that