GRANT COUNTY (WKOW) -- Grant County emergency officials continue to assess the damage left behind after heavy rains and storms in late June swept away some of the county's infrastructure.
Three teams with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) started a nine-county tour of Wisconsin Tuesday morning in what's been deemed the hardest-hit part of the state. The FEMA team is going through all the damage in Grant County with local and state officials to assess the wreckage and put a price tag on it.
Steve Braun, with Grant County Emergency Management, estimates at least $3.2 million in damage has been tallied up so far in the county. That's not including damage homeowners have reported, just roads, bridges, culverts and other public-owned properties. Braun says some help from out of state is needed.
"We are the hardest hit county in Wisconsin, as far as infrastructure and roads, and it is a huge burden to the communities," Braun says. "We're looking at some really rural communities with low populations having to shell out up to half-a-million dollars damage in some of the small townships. It's really a lot more than what any municipal budgets can handle."
After touring all nine affected counties, FEMA teams will work with state officials to determine whether the entire state will qualify for federal funding.
"It's really important that we're all together doing the disaster assessments so we know exactly what a good estimate is for the damages that occurred during the storm," says Sandy Jasmund with FEMA.
Jasmund says FEMA will stay in Wisconsin as long as it takes to do a complete assessment of all the damage in each county, expected to be at least a week.