MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today requested federal disaster assistance for 13 southwest and southeastern Wisconsin counties for a major winter storm that hit the area February 5-7, 2008. The counties named in the request – Dane, Dodge, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha – had record or near record snowfall on those dates. To receive federal emergency snow assistance, a location must have received a record or near record snowfall.
“This winter has been unusually difficult and has strained many crews who have worked long days and nights to keep the roads clear and safe,” said Governor Doyle. “The storm that hit Wisconsin on February 5-7 was among our worst, and it really hit many local budgets hard. I am requesting federal assistance to help provide relief to our local governments who have incurred much of these costs.”
The Governor is requesting the assistance to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures. This includes state and local government operations to protect public health and safety such as plowing and salting and efforts to prevent damage to public or private property.
Numerous locations in the 13 counties included in this request reported amounts between 12 and 19 inches of snow. In addition, strong gusty winds caused blizzard like conditions during that winter storm.
Under a declaration, FEMA would provide reimbursement to local and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to the emergency protective measures used to deal with the snow. For a 48 hour period work crews cleared snow emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Other related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response would also be eligible for reimbursement.
The February 5-7 snow event is just one of many winter storms that have occurred in southern Wisconsin this winter. Since December 1, 2007, Madison has received more than 84 inches of snow making it the snowiest winter on record. Milwaukee has also had more than 65 inches of snow which also exceeds the city’s average annual snowfall.
To read the letter requesting assistance, go to: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=13287.