Dear Mr. President,
We write to request that you promptly consider Governor Walker's request for a major disaster declaration following severe winter storms in Wisconsin in January and February of this year. We also support the Governor's request for statewide Hazard Mitigation and Public Assistance including snow removal costs for Dane, Dodge, Grant, Iowa, Kenosha, Lafayette, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth and Washington counties.
According to the State's disaster request, most of these counties experienced record snowfalls between January 31 and February 3, 2011. Many of the local governments in these areas have exhausted their snow removal budgets and are in need of supplemental federal assistance. Together, these counties estimate they will need more than $9.5 million in public assistance to recoup some of these costs.
Furthermore, for Grant and Milwaukee Counties, this is the second major disaster to hit in the last six months, following heavy rains and flooding in July 2010.
Given these facts, we support the Governor's finding that the disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. We urge you to promptly review the request for assistance and declare a major disaster for the State of Wisconsin.