Federal aid approved for La Crosse, 10 other Wisconsin counties

Federal aid is approved for communities in southwestern Wisconsin impacted by summer flooding.

President Trump signed-off on the funding for the 11 impacted counties this weekend.

Heavy rains in late July caused flooding, washouts, landslides and more in the area. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for 17 counties following the storm.

La Crosse County Emergency Management says the aid will help with public infrastructure repair.

“Most of what we saw was roadway damage. There was some damage to some nonprofit organizations such as Norskedalen, WAFER program, Dairyland Power Cooperative had some challenges, but for the most part it’s roadways that were impacted by the flooding,” said La Crosse County Emergency Management Coordinator Keith Butler.

The federal disaster assistance funding will help recovery efforts in La Crosse, Trempealeau, Vernon and 8 other surrounding counties.

While they admit the damage was not as bad as in past years, Vernon County officials say repeated floodings quickly become an issue.

“These smaller communities, these smaller townships, don’t have a lot of money to start with and it keeps happening to them so each time it makes it more and more of a financial burden to them. So without this FEMA funding they could spend years paying that back,” said Vernon County Emergency Management Director Chad Buros.

State officials estimate public infrastructure damage will cost more than $15 million.