Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds were made available for Wisconsin today to supplement emergency response efforts to last month's winter storms that produced record snowfalls in the eastern and southern parts of the state, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Acting Director John W. Magaw said President Bush authorized the assistance under an emergency declaration issued this afternoon following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal assistance. The declaration covers jurisdictions that were blanketed with record and near-record snowfall over the period of December 11-31.
Immediately after the declaration, Magaw designated 11 counties eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the storms. This includes state and local government operations needed to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
The eligible counties include Dane, Door, Green, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan and Walworth.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to local and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow for a 48-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response will also be eligible for reimbursement.
Magaw named James Roche of FEMA to coordinate the federal assistance in the affected areas.