(Richland County, WI) – Schools, businesses, families, and individuals have two opportunities to test their emergency plans during statewide tornado drills on April 20, 2017. The drills are part of the annual spring severe weather campaign to encourage everyone in Wisconsin to be ready for possible tornadoes and severe weather.
Governor Walker has declared April 17-21, 2017 as Wisconsin’s Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week. Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) have once again teamed up to sponsor the statewide tornado drills scheduled for Thursday, April 20.
On April 20th, a mock tornado watch will be issued at 1:00 p.m. followed by a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. WRCO Radio and TV stations across the state will issue the test tornado warnings. Tornado sirens in communities across the county will also be tested as a part of the mock tornado drill.
In addition, mock alerts will be issued on NOAA Weather Radios and many communities will sound their tornado sirens to test their emergency severe weather plans. Later, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:45 p.m. to give families and second shift workers a chance to practice their emergency plans.
According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 16 tornado touchdowns in the state. All of the tornadoes were either an EF0 or EF1. However, it’s not a question of if we will have a violent storm, it’s a matter of when.
The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark and or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 20, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 21 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drills will be cancelled.
Any changes will be issued to local media as well as the following sites:
Richland County Emergency Management website at http://em.co.richland.wi.us
ReadyWisconsin website at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov.
Winter storm to bring several inches of snow to the region Friday through Saturday, blowing and drifting some of that snow on Saturday. There will be significant impacts to travel over the period. Plan now for winter driving conditions and consider altering travel plans to avoid peak snow and wind hazards. After the storm moves through, another shot of cold air will hit the area. Wind chills Sunday morning could range from 25 to 45 below zero.
WASHINGTON – Wisconsin businesses and residents affected by the severe storms and flash flooding on Sept. 22, 2016, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Scott Walker on Oct. 27, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Vernon County and the adjacent counties of Crawford, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland and Sauk in Wisconsin; Allamakee in Iowa; and Houston in Minnesota.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Wisconsin with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Contreras-Sweet. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
SBA’s customer service representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
402 Courthouse St.
Viroqua, WI 54665
Opening: Friday, Nov. 4 at 10:30 a.m.
Hours: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed: Sunday, Nov. 6
Friday, Nov. 11 (In honor of Veterans Day)
Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13
Closes: Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m.
“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s Wisconsin District Director Eric Ness.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.563 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing email@example.com. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 30, 2016. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31, 2017.
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Madison – Governor Scott Walker announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved his request for federal low-interest disaster loans for individuals and businesses affected by flash flooding in September. The SBA declared Vernon County, along with the contiguous counties of Crawford, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland and Sauk counties. In addition, Allamakee County in Iowa and Houston County in Minnesota were also listed.
“We’re pleased the U.S. Small Business Administration will be able to assist homeowners and businesses that incurred damage from floods in September,” Governor Walker said. “The low-interest loans will help them get back on their feet as they continue to recover from this natural disaster.”
Assistance in the form of low-interest loans of up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed homes. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Low-interest loans of up to $2 million are available to businesses for physical damage and economic loss from the flooding.
Heavy rains caused widespread flooding and mudslides in western Wisconsin on September 21 and September 22. Last week, the SBA completed initial damage assessments and reported more than 30 homes and businesses sustained significant damage and uninsured losses of over $3 million.
To help assist disaster victims, the SBA will open a Disaster Loan Outreach Center in Viroqua, where individuals and businesses will be able to obtain information and loan applications. The center will open Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Banta Building, 402 Courthouse Square in Viroqua beginning at 10:30 a.m.