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Bredesen Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for 10 Counties

Press Release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, Sept. 8, 2010:

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen has asked President Obama to declare 10 Tennessee counties federal disaster areas following the floods of Aug. 16, 2010. The counties include: Clay, Cocke, Hardin, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith and Wayne.

This request for public assistance will provide reimbursements to local governments in the affected counties for repairing and rebuilding public infrastructure.

“With assistance, these counties will be able to restore damaged infrastructure and get relief from the costs of their emergency responses,” Bredesen said. “I thank the local and state agencies who responded very quickly to provide assistance to their fellow citizens during the flooding and for their efforts in obtaining the damage assessments to support our request.”

Areas in the requested counties received an average of six to seven inches of rain, with some areas in excess of 11 inches of rainfall. The Aug. 16 flood caused the most severe damage to roads and bridges in the affected counties.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) public assistance program authorizes state and local governments and public utilities to reclaim expenses related to: debris removal: overtime for response workers: measures taken to protect lives and property: and repairs to roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and parks.

The federal program will provide a 75 percent reimbursement rate for costs associated with eligible public assistance projects in the affected counties. The state and local governments will split the remaining costs evenly. Utilities are also eligible for the 75 percent reimbursement, but must pay the remaining 25 percent themselves.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is responsible for reviewing the public assistance project applications from local governments, assessing the funding and making the payments to public assistance applicants.

For more information on FEMA’s public assistance program, go to http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/index.shtm.

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