Gov. Walker visits flood ravaged Burlington

Posted at 2:40 PM, Jul 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 17:43:43-04

BURLINGTON -- Gov. Scott Walker was in Burlington Thursday to assess flood damage.

Walker toured some of the flooded areas including a dam on the Fox River. At this point, Walker says the integrity of the dam appears to be good, but to be safe bridges over the river in Burlington are closed to traffic.

“The main reason as I understand it from a safety standpoint is if the dam goes out you have such a rush, not only from a structural integrity, but we don’t want anybody near this,” the governor said.

When declaring a state of emergency for Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth Counties, Walker called for the Wisconsin National Guard to help the community recover.  Major General Donald Dunbar says 85 soldiers are on active duty.

“They are doing a series of mission for the incident command team. Right now we are doing a checkpoint across the bridges to keep people safe and off the bridges which frees up law enforcement to do more important things,” Dunbar said.  

As far a federal declaration to help fund recovery efforts, Walker says “that’s a rather elaborate process, I certainly would encourage property owners to first make sure everyone is safe, secondly make sure they contact their insurance agent as soon as possible, then third document any of the damage because it is a high threshold for this region to have a chance to do it, it’s an objective standard, it does not matter who is the president or who is in Congress.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said this morning he is returning to Wisconsin today to get a first-hand assessment of the damage and do what he can to help with the recovery efforts.

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