Damage Estimate Lies Ahead, County to Request Financial Aid

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Since the storm came through the area on a weekend, it's delayed most of this process until today.
Eau Claire County leaders have been discussing the financial impact of the storm during the day, and hope to have a decision from the state in the next week or two.

"We're still collecting figures on that," said Emergency Government Coordinator Hal Swanstrom. "We have some utility figures yet to put in there and some agencies yet to report."

He added that the primary damage in the county is from downed trees, and that the power lines and homes that were damaged were taken down as those trees fell.

Emergency Management officials at the state level will take that into account as they consider helping out the county financially.

"With the damage in Eau Claire County, I don't think that may happen," Swanstrom said.

"They do look at what happens across the state and with the cumulative damage from other counties, there is the possibility that something like that could be determined."

If the state denies funding for the area, local taxpayers will be left to pick up the tab.

County leaders will be closer to their estimate once Xcel Energy restores power to some 1,300 customers in the Chippewa Valley who were still going without at about 6 p.m. Monday. Company officials say most of those people should have their electricity restored by 9 p.m. Monday. Those who don't should call 1-800-895-1999.