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Vernon County gets ready for FEMA

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One of the hardest hit disaster areas near La Crosse in the recent flooding has been Vernon County.

Ontario and Coon Valley have experienced much of the property loss and are likely to get close attention from FEMA inspectors coming in next week.

Brandon Larson from the Vernon County division of emergency management is still adding up the financial losses. At this point, he said it’s around $12.8 million for private sector damage and $5.5 million for business.

“The people I’ve talked to said it’s the worst they’ve ever seen in Ontario,” Larson said. “There were some businesses that said they have 6 feet of water in them. Coon Valley got hit very hard. We evacuated 150 to 200 homes.”

The total disaster damage in Vernon County is around $35 million right now, with damage to roads and other public property making up the biggest share.

Larson counts $18 million in damage to public property, with parts of U.S. 14 and State Highway 131 still needing repair.

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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