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Walker Declares State Of Emergency In Burnett, Douglas, Washburn Counties

Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 5:59 am

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has declared an official state of emergency in three counties in our listening area after making a trip to the area late last week. As we reported, Walker viewed the damage by helicopter last Friday.

Walker issued the state of emergency order due to all of the downed trees that still remain on the ground from the July first storm. Walker’s order is for Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties.

The declaration officially puts the Department of Natural Resources in charge of the recovery and directs all state agencies to help as appropriate. It also officially directs the Wisconsin National Guard to remove trees if federal defense officials approve the effort as a training mission.

Burnett County Sheriff Dean Roland spoke about this problem on Tuesday, and he said the National Guard was working on funding to help clear the roads and the right of ways. Sheriff Roland understands that the ditches also need significant cleanup in preparation of winter’s busy snowmobile season. Sheriff Roland confirmed there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

The severe storms in July and early August have left nearly 2 million cords of wood on the ground. Local governments and the timber industry are racing to clean up the mess before the wood rots or catches fire. The DNR has been assessing the problem for weeks ahead of Walker’s declaration.

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