Disaster/Environmental Emergency: Flooding State of Emergency | Wisconsin
Impact on Tribe: On July 11-12, 2016, heavy rains fell in Northern Wisconsin, leading to widespread flooding. The Bad River Tribe in Ashland County was one of eight counties for which the state made disaster declarations. (The other counties are Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Sawyer and Washington). Approximately 1,500 residents on the Bad River Reservation were affected by the disaster, most of them living in the four main communities of New Odanah, Diaperville, Birch Hill and Frank’s Field. About 590 homes were damaged or destroyed. Roadways were washed out, making for difficult travel, and utilities were disrupted. Many homes were without electricity, and residents were under order to boil water for home use and consumption. Some propane tanks were damaged or washed away, and while natural gas was turned back on for residences, restoration was slow due to the need for individual home inspections prior to use. Overall, the U.S. Census reports 33% of families on the reservation are impoverished, but this climbs to 48.5% among families with children under 18 and to 66% among families with children under age 5.
PWNA Aid Requested: On July 18, emergency aid was requested in the form of staple foods and cleaning supplies to assist the families with clean up and loss of food supplies due to power outages. PWNA coordinated its response with Jewel Taber of the Bad River Tribe, and Marytha Blanchard/Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross/Wisconsin Region.
PWNA Disaster Response:
Impact/Feedback: One community member shared this feedback: "Chii miigwech Thank you for relief sent to the shore of Lake Superior, experiencing floods that has taken out roads and bridges and is isolating families, destroyed houses and took the resources of food and necessities for these families. Thank you for sending relief goods. They were urgently needed and will be greatly appreciated.”
Emergency/relief photos and links:
For other news about the flooding, visit these pages: