WASHINGTON — Congressman Bryan Steil and Congresswoman Gwen Moore urged President Donald Trump Thursday to approve Gov. Tony Evers’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee counties. If approved, Federal Emergency Management Agency aid will be dispersed to the affected counties.
Infrastructure along the Lake Michigan shoreline was damaged after a storm on Jan. 11 resulted in about $10 million worth of damages.
“We’ve seen the damage firsthand and met with residents affected by these storms. Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine counties need our help. FEMA aid will assist our communities as we begin to rebuild. We will continue to fight for Southeast Wisconsin and ensure this request is a priority,” said Steil, R-Janesville, and Moore, D-Milwaukee.
In part, Steil, who represents Racine County, and Moore wrote, “While the state has committed to helping those in need with all resources available at the state level, without federal assistance, our communities will face immense difficulty recovering fully.
“The personal losses not eligible for federal assistance have already caused great hardship for so many of our citizens, but they pale in comparison to the greater regional economic losses that await if the public infrastructure we depend upon is not repaired expeditiously,” the representatives said.
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The letter was co-signed by all members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation.
In the City of Racine, Pershing Park and Pershing Park Drive were hit the hardest as pounding waves sent debris flying onto the roadway. There was also damage to the breakwater, drainage systems and an electronic touch screen pay kiosk for the boat launch.
North Beach was also hit hard with debris scattered along the sand and severely compromising a bluff supporting a portion of the Lake Michigan Pathway near Augusta Street, according to Department of Public Works Commissioner John Rooney. There was also damage at Carre-Hogle and Samuel Myers parks in Racine and Shoop Park in Wind Point.
A full copy of the letter to Trump is available on Steil’s website.
In Evers letter to the federal government, he said, “Large waves and shoreline flooding across southeastern Wisconsin badly damaged infrastructure that helps protect communities and enhances the valuable natural resource that is Lake Michigan. He continued, “Federal disaster assistance would help ensure those areas can be repaired quickly and restored to what they looked like before the storms.”