Superior, Douglas County seek state and federal flooding help


It’s “the day after” for Superior and Douglas County. Flood waters are receding after eight-to-ten inches of rain fell Tuesday and Wednesday. Flood waters still cover roads as a state of emergency continues.

UW-Superior Chancellor Renee Wachter says they felt helpless as storm water flooded the Jim Dan Hill library, floating books and destroying documents. “Late that evening when there was maybe three inches of water and water was coming in and there was nothing you could do about,” she said. “It was like a river flowing in. The second time we saw it, it was already up to where the identifiers are on the stacks and the third time it was already to the ceiling and coming up the stairwell. So, seeing all those books yeah, it was quite devastating.”

UW-Superior is getting help from the UW System and Department of Administration. But the question remains: How much damage was done? Douglas County Emergency Management’s Dave Sletten says that’ll take awhile to figure out. “Many of the areas are unable to be assessed at this time,” he says. “They are still water-topped. There may be some infrastructure damage.”

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Both Superior and Douglas County hope to get federal and state help. County Board Chairman Doug Finn says right now, they feel isolated. “To be honest, we’re not overly optimistic about how much money’s going to be available but we are also going to have to shift some of our resources from things we had planned on doing, to the emergency,” he says. “What we thought we could accomplish this summer and next year, to the emergency, things that absolutely have to be done.”

Besides damages roads, homes and businesses in Superior, 10 villages also are reporting flood damage.