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Communities ravaged by flooding have opportunity to dry out, count losses



Now clean up for flood victims can really begin.

In places like Viola, Readstown, Cashton, Mauston, La Farge and on and on.

With a long stretch of sunny, dry days ahead, those places and others can finally put some distance between themselves and flood damage that’s occurred with epic rains over the last week or so.

Linda Nederlo, with Vernon County Emergency Management, said many damage assessments started after the first wave of flooding. She expects, however, to see many more from homeowners.

“People have been in the recovery mode, just trying to ge their homes back in order just to have a place to live,” Nederlo said. “Of course, some homes are inhabitable. They can’t go back.”

Very preliminary estimates, but so far, Nederlo says public infrastructure damage in the county is around $16 million and climbing — $6 million so far in private property damage.

And that number will rise, if for no other reason, the recent downpour — a one-step-forward, two-steps-back scenario.

“Some of the damage repair that’s been done last week, is gone again,” Nederlo said. “We’d have a better idea of what would be happening if it wouldn’t have rained so much the last two days. But with this rain, of course, the rivers have come back up again, and now there’s more damages to take care of.”

Assessments will be ongoing and Nederlo says it’s not clear when the feds will show up in the county to review the damage.

The fresh rains this week have led to Vernon County declaring nearly 90 roads closed or compromised as of Wednesday morning. That’s up from 30 roads before this week’s rain.

But, they’ll just keep plugging along Nederlo said.

“We continue to help villages and the towns recover with cleanup kits and things like that, individuals needs,” she said. “We are in the process of taking individual damage reports. People should continue to report damages to their private homes.”

Nederlo is grateful for the coming string of dry days so that people in Vernon County and elsewhere can get a handle on putting their lives back together.

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