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Federal Assistance to be Awarded to 18 Counties Harmed by June Flooding

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 14, 2014:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced President Obama has declared 18 counties as federal disaster areas as a result of severe weather on June 5-10. State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to and recovery from the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.

“This federal aid will help our communities in rebuilding and recovery,” Haslam said. “State and local teams worked quickly to survey damage in more than 35 counties to determine the impact of these storms, and we are grateful for this assistance.”

Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties will have access to federal assistance that provides reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible costs. A presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

Three fatalities were attributed to the severe weather and flooding. Two deaths occurred in Lawrence County and another in Hickman County.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornado touchdowns were part of the storm system. The first tornado, an EF-1 with wind speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., left a 12-mile debris path across Lake and Obion Counties on June 7. The other confirmed tornado, rated an EF-0, touched down in Kingston, Tenn. More than 28,000 customers were left without power due to wide-spread damage from downed trees and broken power lines.

The disaster declaration provides FEMA’s Public Assistance to the declared counties for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.

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Haslam Requests SBA Assistance for Mid-TN Flood Recovery

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 22, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has requested assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help individuals and businesses in Metro Nashville and Davidson County and its contiguous counties recover from the severe storms and flash flooding that occurred on August 8-9, 2013.

The additional Tennessee counties that would be eligible for SBA loans are Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson as damage to homes and businesses occurred in multiple locations.

A joint Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and SBA damage survey shows more than 190 homes and 46 businesses in Davidson County sustained minor or major damages and/or loss of inventory.

“The impact on affected individuals and business is significant, and a disaster declaration from the SBA will help speed their recovery from this flood,” Haslam said.

The SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

On Thursday, August 8, a severe weather front with heavy rain – in excess of 10-inches in some locations – moved across portions of Davidson County and Sumner and Wilson counties. First responders performed nearly 200 water rescues and high water covered numerous roadways and low-lying areas.

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Press Releases

Haslam Requests SBA Disaster Recovery Assistance for Severe Flooding

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 31, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has requested assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help individuals and businesses in Sullivan County and its contiguous counties recover from the severe storms and flash flooding that occurred on July 20-21, 2013.

The additional Tennessee counties that would be eligible for SBA loans are Carter, Hawkins, Johnson and Washington as damage to homes and businesses occurred in multiple locations.

A joint Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and SBA damage survey shows more than 88 homes and 65 businesses in Sullivan County sustained minor/major damages and loss of inventory. There was one reported death due to the storm.
“Tennesseans continue to recover from this storm, and SBA assistance would help these communities restore their homes and businesses,” Haslam said.

The SBA provides low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

From July 20 to July 21, 2013, a severe weather front in east Tennessee spawned numerous severe wind shears and strong thunderstorms with straight-line winds often exceeding 30 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Flood and wind damage occurred in multiple locations.

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Haslam Releases Storm Journal Video

Days before the Mississippi River is expected to crest in Memphis, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is releasing a “video journal” of him on the ground tromping through the rubble left from last week’s storms.

“This is flooding of historic proportions. Everyone keeps talking about the flood of 1937 and being back to that level,” Haslam said during a stop in Dyersburg May 3. “We are prepared to respond as quickly as possible both in response and in relief after the flood waters recede.”

The YouTube video featured Haslam looking over destruction in Bradley, Hamilton, Greene counties with stops in Memphis and Dyersburg.

The five-minute production included highlights of remarks from federal lawmakers and officials including Sen. Bob Corker, Congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Phil Roe and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Local area lawmakers also offered remarks, including Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

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Bredesen Announces Federal Farm Assistance For Seven Counties

Press Release by the Gov. Phil Bredesen administration, March 5, 2010:

28 Counties Now Qualify as Primary Natural Disaster Designation

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved his request for federal farm assistance for seven additional Tennessee counties due to excessive rain and flooding that occurred in September and October. Bredesen made the request to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last month. The seven counties designated as primary natural disaster areas include Fentress, Giles, Madison, Morgan, Putnam, Van Buren and White.

“The 2009 growing season was certainly unpredictable and challenging for many of our state’s farmers. This disaster designation will be important for helping those who experienced significant crop losses during last year’s unusually wet harvest,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased that USDA has responded so promptly to my request.”

The designation makes farmers in the designated counties eligible to apply for assistance, including emergency loans and supplemental farm payments, through their local USDA Farm Service Agency. Also qualifying as secondary, adjoining disaster counties are: Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Cumberland, DeKalb, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Overton, Pickett, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Smith and Warren.

With today’s announcement, a total of 28 Tennessee counties have qualified for a primary natural disaster designation due to excessive rain during the 2009 harvest.

Farmers in affected counties reported crop losses ranging from 20 to 50 percent for major crops including corn, soybeans, cotton and tobacco. Some counties reported receiving record rainfall of as much as 10 to 12 inches during what are normally the driest months of the year.

USDA reported significantly higher yields in 2009 for most major Tennessee crops as compared to the previous two drought years; however, heavy rains hurt both crop yields and quality because of rotting, mold and other disease problems. Farmers also reported losses for hay, pumpkins and other specialty crops.

Statewide, the 2009 harvest was three to four weeks behind the five-year average due to the unusually wet weather according to the Tennessee Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. For the latest information, visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn.