Approve Federal Disaster Assistance for Tennessee Counties Affected by Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds and Flooding

Posted on June 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2017 -- Members of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation today urged President Trump to quickly approve Governor Haslam’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Tennessee to help 12 Tennessee counties -- Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith -- impacted by severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding beginning on May 27.

"Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance Categories A-G for Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith Counties to respond to the overwhelming storms that tore through the region. The State has also requested Individual Assistance for Shelby County and statewide funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program," the members wrote President Trump in a letter. “We strongly urge you to approve Governor Haslam’s request, and we hope you will consider our State’s request as soon as possible."

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Representatives Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais, John Duncan, Jr., Chuck Fleischmann, David Kustoff and Phil Roe.

The full text of the letter is below and available online here:

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President: 

On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we are writing to support Governor Bill Haslam’s request to declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act as a result of the severe storms that impacted our state beginning on May 27, 2017.

Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Public Assistance Categories A-G for Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith Counties to respond to the overwhelming storms that tore through the region. The State has also requested Individual Assistance for Shelby County and statewide funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  We strongly urge you to approve Governor Haslam’s request, and we hope you will consider our State’s request as soon as possible. 

The severe storms that swept through Shelby County and across the State of Tennessee beginning on May 27th brought straight-line winds, hail and flooding.  In West Tennessee alone, Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) experienced its third largest power outage leaving 180,000 customers without power. The storm continued across the state causing damage to homes and utilities in 19 other Tennessee counties in Middle and East Tennessee.  Federal Emergency Management Agency and State joint Preliminary Damage Assessments in affected counties for both Public and Individual Assistance occurred between June 3, 2017 and June 10, 2017.  The joint teams calculated eligible electric cooperatives, state agencies, municipal and county expenditures that exceed $30 million as a result of the storm. 

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the beginning of this incident, and we are grateful for their efforts to respond to Tennessee’s needs.   Our offices can provide you with any additional information should you have any questions.

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