Gov. Walker Declares Statewide Flooding Emergency

Gov. Scott Walker is declaring a statewide emergency as Wisconsin struggles with widespread flooding. |  Photo: WDIO-TV

Created: August 29, 2018 03:32 PM

MILWAUKEE (AP) -  Gov. Scott Walker is declaring a statewide emergency as Wisconsin struggles with widespread flooding.
The governor issued the declaration Wednesday afternoon. He had declared a state of emergency in seven counties over the last week.
The declaration calls for all state agencies to assist in responding to the floods and allows Adjutant General Don Dunbar to call any elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to active duty to assist local authorities.
The declaration is also the first step toward seeking federal assistance.
Flooding has forced Wisconsin officials to close a host of state outdoor facilities.  The state Department of Natural Resources says that the agency has closed Wildcat Mountain State Park in Vernon County and 50 percent of the Long Lake Campground in the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Fond du Lac County. Campers who had reservations for the Labor Day weekend will get full refunds.
The DNR also has closed all or portions of the 400, Badger, Elroy-Sparta and Military Ridge state trails.
The boat launch, beaches and some day-use areas at Governor Nelson State Park also have been closed.
Possible tornadoes uprooted trees, stranded train travelers, leveled a barn and snapped power lines as powerful storms with strong winds and driving rain caused extensive damage since Tuesday. The National Weather Service says a number of tornado sightings were reported in Campbellsport, Lomira, Oakfield and Brandon.
The deluge of rain caused flooding throughout Wisconsin. About 400 Amtrak passengers were stranded for hours because of flooding over the train tracks in southern Wisconsin. One Amtrak train was stalled near Portage and another near Tomah.
Some 12,000 We Energies customers were still without power Wednesday morning as utility crews worked overtime to restore service.
In western Wisconsin, 5 to 11 inches of rain has fallen in La Crosse, Vernon and Monroe counties causing people in several communities to evacuate to higher ground.

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