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Recovery efforts continue in Manawa after devastating flood

Manawa flooding
Posted at 5:57 PM, Jul 08, 2024

  • City officials are assisting in the cleanup efforts.
  • Update on nursing home residents displaced by the flood.
  • Police Chief: Manawa likely won't qualify for FEMA assistance.

Three days after a massive flood struck the city of Manawa, people are still trying to clean up and get life back to normal.
"In the last few days, it's just been nonstop going. It's crazy," said Tony Tomaro, a resident who, like many others, has been working to clean up the damage. "People I've never talked to before are offering help, and you don't see that ever. So to me, I find it a blessing."

City officials are actively assisting in the cleanup efforts. Police Chief Jason Severson shared that they have coordinated with GFL to bring in dumpsters for residents behind the local high school to dispose of flooded or destroyed items. The city is providing cleaning kits from the Red Cross to aid in the recovery process.

While some residents are fortunate enough to return to their homes, others are still displaced. Residents of the Manawa Community Living Center are currently relocated to the Wisconsin Veterans Home At King with all 32 residents accommodated on the same floor. All displaced residents were relocated within five hours, thanks to a state-required emergency plan, ensuring they continue to receive the same level of care for as long as needed.

Tammy Servatius, Commandant at the Wisconsin Veterans Home At King explained, "They have their same caregivers. They're just in a different setting,” she said. “To minimize the trauma."

Despite the challenges, the community's spirit remains strong. "I love this town. I do. Anything I can do to help, I will," said Tony Tomaro. "If anyone hears this, I have fans and shop vacs. If they need them, don't be afraid to ask me."

Police Chief Severson noted that total damage from the flood hasn't been assessed yet and is unlikely to meet the threshold for FEMA assistance. They are waiting to see if they qualify for state aid. The dam, part of the federal system, is under review, with the chief awaiting guidance from federal authorities and the DNR on the next steps.

The City of Manawa posted the following information on its Facebook page on Monday:


--Dumpsters will be available at no cost for City of Manawa Residents behind the high school starting today, July 8, 2024 at noon. Available times and dates to be determined. We will keep you posted on that information. Items NOT allowed in the dumpster: Electronics, Appliances, Yard Waste, Tires, Hazardous Materials. Proof of Residency must be shown.

Note: we are looking for volunteers to man the dumpster. Also if you want to help haul items to the dumpster for those who can't please contact the City Hall at 920-596-2577. Thank you!

--We have added a brush pickup date on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. No pieces larger than 6 feet and place the brush parallel with the curb.

--We will not qualify for FEMA funding so we will not require pictures and lists of items. Please work with your individual home insurance companies. We will be applying for funding from Wisconsin Disaster Fund but unfortunately private residences do not qualify for this funding.

--The State Engineer will be inspecting the County Highway B bridge today to come up with a date to reopen the bridge.

--We still have to meet with the DNR on the future status of the dam.

-- DO NOT walk through Lindsay Park. This is very important. Stay away from Lindsay Park. Stay away from blocked off areas. This is for your safety.

--There will be Cleaning Kits available for free at the Manawa City Hall, Sturm Memorial Library and the Manawa High School.

--We highly suggest people sign up for Code Red. This will inform residents of emergency situations. For more info and to sign up go to

--During the time that the Library parking lot is closed the back entrance is open and curb-side pickup is available.

--A 6 ton weight restriction has been placed on Beech Street.

--UHAUL, Waupaca, would like to offer some help to those affected by the disaster. They are offering one month of free indoor or outdoor storage. You can either reserve it online or call their location. The link for the website is below. 715-802-2765.

As we get more updates we will post and get the information out to the residents. Please be patient with us. Thank you for your cooperation.