Governor Walker tours communities damaged after Sunday night's s - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Governor Walker tours communities damaged after Sunday night's storm

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IOWA COUNTY (WKOW)-- After two days of severe weather, Governor Scott Walker visited a handful of communities in Grant and Iowa County that were hit the hardest by Sunday night's storm. Walker says his tour of these damaged communities is less about declaring a disaster, but more about showing his support during this difficult time.

"Even though this can all be rebuilt, the traumatic impact it has for a lot of these homeowners and farm owners is significant, just because they've poured their lives literally into these properties here," Walker says.

The tour started in the small town of Fennimore where a confirmed EF1 tornado touched down. Walker visited a farm where eight buildings were destroyed, but the home was surprisingly left intact. The roof and siding sustained heavy damage, but the home is still livable.

"A number of the farms we've seen have had damage to their barns and their buildings. Thankfully most of these people have fairly intact homes. At least that gives them something to go back to," Walker says.

After touring Fennimore, Walker headed towards Dodgeville and Spring Green where straight line winds caused significant damage. His tour ended at a small farm on County Road ZZ where farmers are dealing with damage to outbuildings and crops. Their home also sustained heavy damage to siding and windows.

"Farming is more than just a business. It's a way of life for a lot of farmers here and across the state. To see something like this, where they poured their life into, it's really heart wrenching," Walker says.

Besides seeking federal disaster assistance, Iowa County officials are also requesting a disaster declaration from the U.S Department of Agriculture. Many farmers in the area lost thousands of dollars in grain and corn crops.

"Some people are covered with crop insurance, some people are not. The corn looks pretty awful right now, but if it's just bent over but not snapped over it may come back," Iowa County Administrator Curt Kephart says.

Both Iowa and Grant County officials are still dealing with several previous disasters that affected people in their area. Iowa County saw significant drought in recent growing seasons and also saw major flooding last year. In Grant County, officials are still dealing with the aftermath of the two tornadoes that hit Platteville.

"We don't have a lot of money. To help people and fix roads and do the things that we need to do," Kephart says. "It creates a lot of burden on the tax payers. Everybody is impacted by this one way or another," Kephart says.

Governor Walker says time will tell if the federal government will step in and help. A federal disaster declaration will likely be decided sometime over the next few days. Walker didn't seem very optimistic considering the very strong requirements for federal aid. He said regardless of what happens, his office plans to do everything they can to help the people who saw damage in this storm.

"There are things we can do in conjunction with local officials that aren't necessarily about a federal declaration," Walker says.

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