Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee delegation urges Obama's help with flooding woes

Posted on May 11, 2010

WASHINGTON - Tennessee's congressional delegation is urging President Obama to seek funding in an upcoming appropriations bill to help Tennesseeans in 52 counties as they recover from recent massive storms and flooding.

"According to NOAA and the Corps of Engineers, the flooding in Tennessee was the result of a 1,000-year rainfall event," the delegation wrote in their letter dated today to Obama. "We thank you for already designating 42 of the 52 counties requested by our governor as eligible for disaster relief. We also appreciate the efforts of FEMA Director Fugate and his staff as well as that of Secretaries Napolitano, Locke, and Donovan and Small Business Administrator Mills, all of whom have visited Tennessee during the last week."

Storms pounded Middle and West Tennessee the weekend of May 1. Nashville was among the hardest hit communities.

The upcoming supplemental appropriations bill is to be marked up by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

"Tennesseans are helping themselves and their neighbors, but Tennessee will require federal assistance beyond what current emergency programs' funding can support. Because the Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up supplemental appropriations legislation that you have requested on Thursday, it is vital that a request for Tennessee flood relief come from the Office of Management and Budget as quickly as possible."

Members signing the letter: Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker; Republican U.S. Reps John J. Duncan Jr., Phil Roe, Zach Wamp, and Marsha Blackburn; and Democratic U.S. Reps Lincoln Davis, Jim Cooper, Bart Gordon, John Tanner and Steve Cohen.

"I was pleased to sign this letter with the rest of the delegation to request funding for Tennessee flood relief in the upcoming supplemental appropriations bill, and it is my hope and my expectation that this will be a clean emergency supplemental that only contains true emergency spending, not a Christmas tree for non-related, non-emergency spending," Corker said today.

More details as they develop online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.