County officials say federal aid could make a difference with storm damage

NOW: County officials say federal aid could make a difference with storm damage

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee counties have a combined estimate of $30 million in damage following what a local official has called "the perfect storm."

David Maack, Racine County's emergency management coordinator said he was surprised to see the extent of the damage left by severe winter storms and flooding three weeks ago.

"You were looking at 50+ mph winds hitting the lake shore. There's no ice to kind of hold the waves back," he said.

He remains hopeful that the county sees federal help. Gov. Tony Evers has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency to do preliminary damage estimates in all three counties.

The damage is estimated at $6 million in Racine County alone.

"You just had a number of different issues that contributed to this particular -- [what] I guess we could call the perfect storm," Maack said.

Port Milwaukee's port director is now having regular conversations with his staff members about how they can plan for future weather events.

"Despite those preparations I would still argue that what happened on Jan. 11 was a once-in-a-generation event," Adam Schlicht said.

Schlicht said the port has more than $1 million in damage. The majority of the damage is to Jones Island but a number of facilities that will be needed during the start of the international shipping season were also damaged. That season is scheduled to start in April.

Schlicht said last year was a "spectacular" shipping season, but he's worried about how the damage to the port will affect the season this year.

"A gangbuster year for the port was had in 2019. I remain very concerned that as a result of this winter event -- this flood event in January this year -- is that going to impact our tonnage in 2020?" Schlicht said

FEMA will assess the reported damage in all three counties next week.

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