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Evers requests FEMA storm damage assessments in SE Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to do a preliminary estimate of damage caused by severe winter storms and lakeshore flooding that struck southeastern Wisconsin earlier this month.

The procedure is the first step Wisconsin must take before deciding whether it will request an official federal declaration of disaster.

Evers said on Tuesday that the storms, combined with high water levels on Lake Michigan, resulted in “significant shoreline damage to public infrastructure” in southeastern Wisconsin. Doing the assessments will officials decide whether cities and villages qualify for federal aid to help them rebuild, he said.

The governor’s office said FEMA is expected next week to assess damage to public infrastructure in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties. Agency staff will not be assessing damage to houses or businesses, since much of that  type of damage is covered by insurance or would not qualify for federal disaster assistance.

As of Monday afternoon, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties had reported a combined estimate of $30 million in damage to public infrastructure as a result of the Jan. 10-12 storms and flooding. Those preliminary numbers are expected to change.

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