Governor Bredesen has the federal government has authorized a major disaster declaration for 12 additional Tennessee counties, including DeKalb County bringing the total number of counties declared to 42. This action makes federal assistance available to individuals in Chester, Clay, DeKalb, Hardin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Macon, Stewart, Trousdale and Wayne counties.
Bredesen asked President Obama on Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state over the weekend. Forty-two counties have received declarations to date. In addition to the 12 counties announced today, counties authorized include: Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Sumner, Tipton, Williamson and Wilson.
“I appreciate that President Obama and other federal officials continue to expedite our requests and announce declarations for additional counties,” said Bredesen. “This will be tremendously helpful to Tennesseans who suffered losses as they work to rebuild, and I look forward to seeing more counties authorized in coming days.”
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Tennessee suffered 23 confirmed fatalities as a result of the extreme weather and flooding that struck the state April 30-May 2. Numerous evacuations and water rescues were performed as flood waters rose. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.
FEMA sent a liaison officer to the state Sunday and opened its regional coordination center in Atlanta to provide support to operations in Tennessee. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has been in the state twice since the flooding began, touring areas of both middle and west Tennessee.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties authorized to date, including both individual and public assistance.
Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.