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Infrastructure price tag over $50 million, as Vernon County dams hit hard



Houses are being cleaned, highways are being fixed and kids are headed back to school for a new year.

Western Wisconsin counties are returning to a routine after a week of recovering from severe flooding.

Many roads in the area, which had been damaged early last week, have slowly re-opened.

The price tag, however, for damage to infrastructure from the high water is already above $50 million, according to the state emergency operations center.

Sheriff John Spears of Vernon County says dams around the county could require expensive repairs between $4-6 million.

“We’ve had some critical damage to some of our dams. Vernon County has the largest number of dams in the state,” Spears said of the 22 dams. “And, we’ve had like 5-6 that have had failures. We haven’t had a dam failure in Vernon County since 1978.”

The weather service says the chance of more flooding still exists this week.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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