Wisconsin Flooding

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- Fourteen southern Wisconsin counties now have been declared eligible for federal disaster aid because of last month's flooding from record-setting rains.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced yesterday that nine more counties have been approved for the help.

That means that grants of up to $28,000 will be available for homeowners, renters and business owners in Columbia, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Racine and Rock counties. They are also eligible for low-interest loans to rebuild from major losses.

President Bush declared disasters earlier in Crawford, La Crosse, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties.

Federal officials say local governments in those five counties can now apply for disaster grants to pay 75 percent of their costs in responding to the flooding. The money will pay for things such as debris removal, police overtime and road repairs.

Wisconsin Emergency Management estimates the flooding caused nearly $50 million in damage and government costs.

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