MADISON – Governor Scott Walker issued Executive Order #249 today declaring a State of Emergency for 17 counties following torrential rains that have fallen throughout western Wisconsin in the last few days. Several counties have been dealing with floods and additional potential heavy rains tonight could cause even more damage.
This morning, Governor Walker, Major General Donald Dunbar, Adjutant General of the Wisconsin Natural Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator Brian Satula, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede met with flood victims and local officials and surveyed flood damage in Arcadia in Trempealeau County and Ontario in Vernon County. Between six to eight inches of rain fell Wednesday night, causing flash flooding and rivers to rise to major flood stage. Many homes and businesses have been impacted by flooding. Sandbagging efforts continue throughout the region. So far, there have been no reports of fatalities.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the flooding,” Governor Walker said. “I have instructed state agencies and the Wisconsin National Guard to help those affected by the flooding and to continue to provide resources to assist with the response and recovery efforts. I thank the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and all state agencies for their coordinated response to this emergency.”
The counties in the declaration include Buffalo, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Trempealeau, and Vernon. Southern Wisconsin has been saturated with rain the last few weeks. Tonight’s potential heavy storms could produce an additional one to three inches of rain, causing more damage.
Governor Walker directed state agencies to help those affected by the storms and called the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty, as the Adjutant General Donald Dunbar deems necessary, to assist local authorities in the recovery efforts. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Administration, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Wisconsin Emergency Management have all been assisting with the response.