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Property damage high; Slow, No Wake may be expanded

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823
J. McLellan, Department of Emergency Management, (608) 267-8542

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/28/2007

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
County Executive, Sheriff, County Board Chair to decide early Wednesday

Dane County today reached the minimum requirement for federal public assistance for governments to respond to flood-related problems – such as debris removal, protective measures including law enforcement and sandbagging, and more. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said the federal threshold is about $1.372 million – or $3.05 per Dane County resident.

In related news, the Federal Emergency Management Damage Assessment Teams arrived today and are in process of private sector damage assessment countywide. The two teams had scheduled a total of 13 stops in municipalities. Falk met with the FEMA teams before they left on their inspections.

“They are here to verify damage,” Falk said. ““As of 1 p.m. today, residential damage was estimated at $2, 021,000. Damages to private businesses were estimated at $49,400.

“It is important to remember these numbers are preliminary and estimates, and damage reports are still coming in,” Falk said. “We need to remind Dane County residents to report their damage if they haven’t already done so.”

In related news, the four major Madison lakes are near record depths due to recent heavy rains, Falk, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney and Dane County Board Chair Scott McDonell will determine by Wednesday morning whether to expand the current Slow, No Wake order to cover the entire lake surfaces.

“Lake Monona is at its previous record high that was established in June 2000 today,” Falk told an afternoon news conference. “And lakes Mendota and Kegonsa are within a hair’s breath of the established 100-year flood elevation. Lake Waubesa is just below its record level, too.

“Add to this the forecast for more rains in the coming 24 hours and you have the reason why we are talking about expanding the Slow, No Wake order from its current 500 feet from shoreline to the entire lake surfaces,” Falk said.

The three officials will make their determination to expand or to leave the declaration as is sometime Wednesday morning after the effects of the predicted rains for tonight can be assessed.

“With the approaching holiday weekend, outdoor activities – especially on our lakes – are high priority, and we understand what this decision can mean both to the outdoor enthusiast and the lakefront property owner,” Falk said. “This is why we are constantly assessing the situation.”

Falk said the county continues to operate its weed harvesters in the Lower Yahara River to increase flow leaving the upper three lakes in the Yahara Chain.

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