Federal government approves disaster declaration for Tennessee counties in response to storms, flooding

Federal government approves disaster declaration for Tennessee counties in response to storms, flooding

April 17th, 2019 by Staff Report in Breaking News

Updated at 9:33 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, with quote from Fleischmann.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday that the federal government has granted his request to declare a major disaster in the state following the severe storms and accompanying flooding that impacted a total of 56 counties, according to a news release.

Local reactions

"I commend President Trump for rapidly approving Governor Bill Lee's request for a major disaster declaration to help the 56 counties that were harmed by flooding and severe weather earlier this year. This federal assistance will help Tennessee communities quickly begin to recover from flooding and severe storms which Gov. Lee estimated cost our state $151 million."
— U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

"I thank President Trump and FEMA for their swift action in approving federal aid for the Tennesseans affected by the devastating flooding that occurred earlier this year. This additional assistance is a necessary step in the recovery process and rebuilding efforts must continue to ensure our communities receive the help they desperately need."
— U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.

The declaration will make federal recovery assistance available to the counties, which include Bledsoe, Coffee, Hamilton, Marion, Rhea, Sequatchie, and Warren counties.

"The devastating flooding and severe weather required a comprehensive response and stretched many local jurisdictions to their resource limits," reads a prepared statement from Lee.  "For the counties working to rebuild bridges, roads, utilities, and other infrastructure, this federal assistance will support their recovery efforts."

The disaster declaration covers the time period from Feb. 19 to March 30, and will allow government entities and certain private non-profit organizations in the eligible counties to apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to the disaster under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance program.

For more information, visit fema.gov.