Racine County declares emergency over erosion

Racine Co. declares emergency over erosion
Posted at 4:24 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 11:15:48-04

RACINE -- Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave Thursday issued a "declaration of emergency" in the county due to bluff erosion in the Villages of Caledonia and Mount Pleasant.

The county says a combination of increased water levels in Lake Michigan, waves, and unstable bluffs have led to the erosion accelerating at an "unprecedented rate."

“We are concerned the homes as well as public utilities and infrastructure will fall victim to Lake Michigan in coming days and weeks," Executive Delagrave said. “County staff are monitoring the situation closely, and we are prepared to do everything we can to support local municipal efforts.”

An emergency declaration means Racine County can ask for both state and federal assistance, if the situation warrants. The County Executive also is given more authority to make personnel and resources available.

State Representative Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) quickly issued a statement praising the decision.

“One house has already been claimed and a dozen more are in danger on the Lake Michigan coastline in Mount Pleasant due to the soil erosion caused by the rapidly rising water level...There are people in Wisconsin right now who could wake up tomorrow without a home; we need to take action as quickly as possible.