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Tornado injures 20 in McMinn County

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's governor has sent a request to President Barack Obama to expedite a major disaster declaration for five of the state's counties to aid in recovery from wildfires and severe storms.

The counties included in Gov. Bill Haslam's declaration request are Coffee, McMinn, Polk, Sequatchie and Sevier.

Haslam says his goal is to help ensure those counties get the federal assistance needed to rebuild from the disasters.

A presidential disaster declaration could help the five counties with costs for debris removal, emergency protective measures and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, buildings, water control facilities, utilities and recreational facilities.

It might also help qualifying individuals with direct assistance.

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Great Smoky Mountains wildfires

Devastating Gatlinburg fires

This story was updated Dec. 12 at 11:50 p.m.

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