After days of punishing rains swamped first Dane County and then large sections of south, central and western Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday declared a statewide emergency.

The declaration, which expands on a state of emergency in seven counties over the last week, calls for all state agencies to assist in responding to the floods and allows Adjutant General Don Dunbar to call any elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to active duty to assist local authorities.

With many areas experiencing more than a foot of rain, the damage first came in flash floods. Now, some rivers and lakes are at all-time highs and threatening homes and businesses.

The Baraboo River, which is expected to crest Friday morning in La Valle, will be about 2 feet above the previous record crest of 23.2 feet set in June 2008, the National Weather Service said. Other communities at risk include Rock Springs (where flooding has already begun), Reedsburg, and areas near Baraboo.

Learn how Wisconsin banks are aiding in the flood relief efforts.

Read more in the Wisconsin State Journal.