Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today 3,346 Tennesseans have applied for federal disaster relief following the tornados that ravaged parts of the state earlier this month and that more than $1.1 million in funds had already been distributed.
Alexander also said three additional counties have been approved today for federal disaster assistance in the aftermath of the storms. The federal government has approved additional federal disaster aid for McNairy, Fayette, and Haywood counties. These declarations bring the total number of counties eligible to receive some form of disaster assistance to 16.
Alexander today visited with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to discuss tornado recovery efforts in Tennessee while visiting a storm-damaged neighborhood in Jackson and meeting with a family whose home was destroyed by the storm.
“It’s heart-wrenching to see the devastation caused by the tornados, but we are taking aggressive action to help Tennessee families recover,” Alexander said. “I’m pleased to see the progress that’s been made since I first visited in the aftermath of the storm. I will continue to work with members of the Tennessee delegation to ensure that Tennesseans have access to the help they need.”
While in Jackson, Alexander also met with administrators from Union University, one of the places hit hardest by the tornados. After the meeting, Alexander viewed damage from the storm, including dormitories leveled by the fierce winds.
The federal government has authorized major disaster declarations for 16 Tennessee counties. Benton, Hardin, Hickman, Houston, Lewis, Macon, Madison, Montgomery, Perry, Shelby, Sumner, Fayette, McNairy, Haywood, Trousdale, and Williamson counties are eligible for federal aid to help Tennesseans and area businesses trying to rebuild after the devastating storms.
Residents and business owners with losses in the designated counties can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or by registering online at www.fema.gov.
Disaster Recovery Centers are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily in eight Tennessee counties, including Madison County.
Alexander previously toured devastated areas in Lafayette, Tennessee, with President Bush and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in the aftermath of the storm and met with survivors and recovery workers from the area.
Alexander said President Bush and Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen displayed rapid responses to the tornados with their actions leading to the prompt approval of the 16 Tennessee counties now designated for federal disaster aid.