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Bredesen Announces Disaster Declarations for 11 More Tennessee Counties

State of Tennessee Press Release; May 6, 2010:

Counties Declared Today Include Carroll, Crockett, Decatur, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Houston, Madison and Obion

NASHVILLE – Governor Bredesen announced today the federal government has authorized a major disaster declaration for 11 additional Tennessee counties, bring the total number of counties declared to 21. This action makes federal assistance available to individuals in Carroll, Crockett, Decatur, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Houston, Madison and Obion counties.

Bredesen asked President Obama on Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state over the weekend. Twenty-one counties have received declarations to date. In addition to the 11 announced today, counties previously authorized include Cheatham, Davidson, Dyer, Hickman, McNairy, Montgomery, Perry, Shelby, Tipton and Williamson.

“We can see President Obama and other federal officials continue to move quickly to process our requests and announce declarations for more counties,” said Bredesen. “I expect us to continue to see additional counties authorized for federal assistance as the damage assessments continue, which will be tremendously helpful to Tennesseans who suffered losses as they work to rebuild.”

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

Tennessee suffered 21 confirmed fatalities as a result of the extreme weather and flooding that struck the state April 30-May 2. Numerous evacuations and water rescues were performed as flood waters rose. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.

FEMA has been working to help Tennessee since before the weekend’s storms ended, sending a liaison officer to the state on Sunday and opening its regional coordination center in Atlanta to provide support to ongoing operations in Tennessee. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who also visited the state on Monday, today makes his second trip to Tennessee since the flooding began. He will be joined by Red Cross Senior Vice President for Disaster Services Joe Becker. Governor Bredesen has also toured multiple areas of the state this week with federal, state and local officials.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the 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.

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