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State to compensate those who lost homes at Lake Delton

FEMA wouldn't do it, so the state will compensate the owners of five homes destroyed when Lake Delton got flushed away.

They'll get a total of almost $2 million because Gov. Jim Doyle stepped in.

He used a law that allows the state to take immediate possession of property in emergencies.

Doyle got the Department of Transportation to condemn the five houses as part of the rebuilding of the nearby County Trunk A.

Don Kubenik of West Allis is getting the most, about $540,000.

He and others were first told they'd get nothing because their homes -- which the world saw get torn apart last month - were not their primary residences.

Tom Pekar did get $27,000 from FEMA, but a lot of that would have had to pay for property taxes.

Now, Pekar and his wife Tina are getting $381,000.

Tim Fromm got $359,000, but he figured the property and possessions were worth more than a million. Still, he thanked Doyle for stepping in and he called the compensation fair.

Fromm, his wife, and three kids are staying rent-free at a resort until they can decide where to move.

Homeowners who feel shorted have two years to appeal.