Obama declares 18 Tennessee counties as federal disaster areas

Obama declares 18 Tennessee counties as federal disaster areas

August 15th, 2014 by Staff Report in Local - Breaking News

David and Courtney Tilley stand outside their storm-damaged business, Pass Time Garage, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Clinton, Tenn. A fast-moving storm hit eastern Tennessee with damaging winds Tuesday evening, snapping trees, bringing down power lines and ripping off a few rooftops but sparing residents any serious injuries.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Barack Obama tile

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said today that President Barack Obama has declared 18 counties, including Marion, Sequatchie and Bledsoe counties, as federal disaster areas due to storms that swept the state between June 5 to June 10.

State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.

Three deaths in Middle Tennessee are attributed to the storms.

"This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery," Haslam said. "State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance."

The disaster declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance to designated counties for debris removal, emergency protective measures and rebuilding and repairing roads as well as bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

All will have access to federal assistance that provides reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible costs. A presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA's hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

Two of the fatalities occurred in Lawrence County and one was in Hickman County.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornado touchdowns were part of the storm system. The first, an EF-1 tornado with wind speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., left a 12-mile debris swath across Lake and Obion Counties on June 7.

The other confirmed tornado, rated an EF-0, touched down in Kingston. More than 28,000 customers were left without power due to wide-spread damage from downed trees and broken power lines.

Besides Marion, Sequatchie, Lawrence and Hickman counties, other designated disaster areas include: Anderson, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Houston, Lewis, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane and Tipton counties.