Press Releases

Obama Declares 4 Counties Disaster Areas

State of Tennessee Press Release; May 4, 2020:

Initial Authorization Made for Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman, Williamson Counties; Additional Counties Expected to be Added in Coming Days

NASHVILLE – The federal government today authorized a major disaster declaration for four Tennessee counties. Governor Phil Bredesen asked President Obama Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state beginning Friday, April 30.

Today’s action makes federal funding available to individuals in Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson Counties while declarations for additional Tennessee counties are expected in coming days.

As a result of the extreme weather conditions, Tennessee suffered 19 confirmed fatalities. Numerous nursing homes, apartment complexes and residences were evacuated due to rapidly rising waters and flash flooding. Water rescues and helicopter extractions were performed as flood waters continue to rush over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.

“The federal government has moved quickly to assist Tennessee and I appreciate the quick action by President Obama to declare the first of what I expect will be many counties authorized for federal assistance,” said Bredesen. “In addition to the state and local resources utilized in the initial response, I know all counties impacted by these devastating storms are anxious for assistance and access to the resources of the federal government.”

Bredesen toured impacted areas of West and Middle Tennessee on Monday, May 3. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in Tennessee and Bredesen also spoke by phone with President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the four counties, including both individual and public assistance.

Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the four designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

One reply on “Obama Declares 4 Counties Disaster Areas”

If we want less goverment then we should abide with the Constitution and realize We the people of TN. should solve our problems and quit running to the Federal Gov. to solve our problems. That will help us NOT to be in bondage to the Big Fed. Gov. Knowing the TN people, we will work shoulder to shoulder in helping our neighbors. I love the people in TN. and I am very proud of them so let the STATE of TN organize and once more call on the VOLUNTEERS to come forth. Mary

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