Village of Viola awarded $250,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant

Viola, Wis. (WKBT) — Over the past 14 years, located right in the Kickapoo River floodplain, the Village of Viola has flooded seven times.

The most recent time was earlier this month.

“Behind me, there’s an open space. There used to be a mobile home there that got washed off its foundation,” Brandon Larson, director of Vernon County Emergency Management, said. “In 2018, where we’re standing, we were probably 3 or 4 feet deep in water. It was quite deep for many days. And here in Viola, it blocks all access basically off the village.”

The flooding can be costly to homes and infrastructure. The most recent flood will cost Vernon County around $1 million.

Today, at Banker Park, Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduced funds to combat future damage.

Baldwin, along with USDA, awarded the village a $250,000 Community Facilities Disaster Grant. It will be used to help relocate streets and utilities in the floodplain.

“The village of Viola, with all the floods affecting the low-lying portions of the village, is actually relocating housing and some infrastructure to a higher part of the village,” Baldwin said.

This could help keep the community safe and allow the village to grow.

“I think it’s going to help them survive. It’ll help keep people in the village,” Larson said. “It’ll help keep people here because they like this area.”