Press Releases

President Authorizes Disaster Declarations for 4 More Counties

State of Tennessee Press Release; May 6, 2010:

NASHVILLE – The federal government this evening authorized a major disaster declaration for four 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.

This evening’s action makes federal funding available to individuals in McNairy, Perry, Shelby and Tipton Counties. Federal officials earlier today authorized declarations for 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.

“I appreciate the speedy approvals of these counties for assistance by President Obama and the federal government,” said Bredesen. “Making these resources available in these additional counties will help those who have suffered losses begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.”

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.

Governor Bredesen and state and local officials toured northern Middle Tennessee counties today, including Montgomery and Sumner Counties. Similar tours were conducted of 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 10 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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