Alexander Statement on President’s Declaration of “Major Disaster” for Tennessee

Posted on March 17, 2012

NASHVILLE – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on President Obama’s issuance of a “major disaster” declaration for the state of Tennessee, which triggered the release of federal funds to help individuals recover from the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred in Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton, and Polk counties from February 29 to March 2, 2012:
 
"I'm pleased that the president responded so quickly to the governor's request, and our support of that request, by issuing a major disaster declaration for these counties in Tennessee. This federal support won't make anyone whole, but it will help people and businesses get back on their feet."  
 
On March 15, Senators Alexander and Corker and Representatives Duncan, DesJarlais, Black and Fleischmann sent the following letter to the president in support of Governor Haslam’s request that the president declare a major disaster in Tennessee:
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
                On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we respectfully request that you declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act due to the severe storms, straight line winds, tornadoes and flooding that began on the morning of February 29th through March 2, 2012.
 
                Governor Bill Haslam has submitted a request for Individual Assistance for Bradley, Claiborne, Cumberland, Dekalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton and Polk counties, as well as Hazard Mitigation Grant Program assistance statewide.  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 storms that swept through Tennessee beginning February 29, 2012 claimed three lives, damaged hundreds homes and left families across the state in need of immediate shelter.  According to the preliminary damage assessments there is over $18 million in damages to homes, and several workers have also lost their jobs due to damage to businesses.  Tennessee has suffered 5 declared disasters in the past 12 months, and several counties are still struggling to recover.
 
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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Individuals in the affected counties should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) registration phone number at (800) 621-FEMA(3362); those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585 directly. Individuals can also apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

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