Press Releases

Obama Extends Major Disasters Area By 2 Counties

State of Tennessee Press Release; May 5, 2010:

Authorization Made Today for Montgomery, Dyer Counties

NASHVILLE – The federal government today authorized a major disaster declaration for two additional Tennessee counties. On Monday, Governor Phil Bredesen asked President Obama 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 Montgomery and Dyer Counties. Four counties – Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson – were authorized yesterday. Declarations for additional counties requested by the Governor are expected in coming days.

“President Obama and the federal government continue to move quickly in their response,” said Bredesen. “As people begin to rebuild their homes and their lives, this assistance will be an important resource for Tennesseans.”

Tennessee suffered 20 confirmed fatalities as a result of the extreme weather and flooding that struck the state April 30-May 2. 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 rushed over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.

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

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the six counties authorized to date, 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).

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