Frist, Alexander Urge Approval For Additional Federal Disaster Assistance

Posted on May 22, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today urged approval of Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen's fourth request for federal disaster assistance for Tennessee counties impacted by severe storms since May 4. "We continue to learn daily about the true magnitude of the damage from the storms earlier this month, and Senator Alexander and I stand behind Governor Bredesen's request for this additional assistance for Tennessee counties trying to rebuild," said Frist. "The President has responded promptly to each and every request, and I encourage his support once again in granting this additional aid for Tennessee." "We appreciate the assistance Tennesseans have received in their efforts to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses to date," said Alexander. "As damage assessments continue, more citizens in more counties need relief. We ask the President for his continued support in aiding these Tennesseans." In the request, Bredesen asked that 14 counties be added to the list of counties eligible for Individual Assistance (IA), which provides funding to families, individuals and businesses to cover uninsured losses. The counties included in the IA request are: Benton, Decatur, Fayette, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis, Macon, Perry, Shelby, Smith, Tipton and Trousdale. Bredesen is also asking that 11 counties be qualified to receive Public Assistance (PA), which provides funds to local and state jurisdictions and some not-for-profit and quasi-government entities, such as utility companies. The counties included in the PA request are: Cocke, Grundy, Hardeman, Hardin, Hickman, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Monroe, Sequatchie and Warren. Many of the counties on both lists are already eligible for the other type of assistance from previous requests. Currently, 66 Tennessee counties are eligible for varying levels of FEMA assistance. The severe storms, which began on May 4, have claimed the lives of 17 people, damaged or destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, and caused millions of dollars in damages to private and public property. Federal assistance was first granted on May 9, followed by approval for aid on May 15 and 19. With damage assessments ongoing, additional requests still remain a possibility. Both Frist and Alexander continue to work closely with federal and state officials to ensure that Tennessee's needs are being met.