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State May Look For Federal Aid To Pay For Storm

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MADISON (WRN) - Wisconsin might seek federal aid to help pay for the costs of dealing with this week’s massive snowstorm. Governor Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night which activates the National Guard to help if necessary. It’s also considered to be a first step in seeking federal help. But Lori Getter of Wisconsin Emergency Management says a decision won’t be made until after the final snow totals and damage estimates are known. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is lobbying Doyle for help. She issued an emergency declaration Wednesday and said her action, “supports the governor’s request for federal assistance.” Falk’s county was among the hardest hit. 18.5 inches of snow fell southwest of Madison Tuesday night and Wednesday. The National Weather Service says that’s the most in the state. Other places got 6 to 17 inches. Wednesday’s K to 12 school closings are a fairly common occurrence, and colleges close much less often. But it might have been at least a half century since virtually all of state government was shut down like it was Wednesday. Senate President Fred Risser of Madison has been in the Legislature since 1956 – he can’t remember state government grinding to a halt like this.

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