U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representatives John Tanner (D-Tenn. 8) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. 7) have joined Governor Phil Bredesen in requesting that President Obama issue a federal disaster declaration for Dyer, Henry, Lake, Obion, Montgomery, Stewart and Weakley counties in Tennessee to help state and local governments recover costs for services related to the storm. A disaster designation would allow reimbursement to local governments and the State of Tennessee for repairing public facilities or infrastructure, debris removal and emergency services related to the storms.
According to the letter, “Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) officials report one fatality and more than 20,000 customers lost power as a result of the storm, which has placed a significant financial burden on the state as well as the local governments and individuals impacted. FEMA has already begun conducting official damage assessments, and preliminary estimates total more than $11 million in storm-related damages and emergency response costs in those seven counties.”
“These winter storms have caused significant damage to these counties in West Tennessee and we need to make sure we are doing all we can to help these communities get back on their feet,” Alexander said. “Following Governor Bredesen’s request, I’m glad to join these other members of the Tennessee delegation in requesting the President to declare these seven counties disaster areas so they can receive federal support to help them recover.”
“I’m pleased to join members of our congressional delegation in support of Governor Bredesen’s request for federal disaster relief for parts of West Tennessee struck by a winter storm last month,” Corker said. “Once again, it appears officials at the local, state, and federal level responded very quickly and capably to the situation, and I commend them. I urge President Obama to act swiftly to declare these affected communities disaster areas so much needed assistance will be available.”
“We have talked with many Tennessee families and businesses affected by ice,” Tanner said. “It is important that our area be recognized as an official disaster so our community has the resources needed for recovery efforts.”
“I support Governor Bredesen’s request for federal assistance in Tennessee,” Blackburn said. “Last month, Mother Nature came along and made the tough times many Tennessee communities are enduring even tougher. This is the appropriate time for FEMA to step in to cover the costs and relieve the burden.”