Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Tennessee to help communities in the counties of Cocke, Greene, Johnson and Washington recover from the effects of a series of recent storms that struck the eastern part of the state, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush following a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms and flooding that began July 27.
Under the declaration, Allbaugh said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments in the four counties to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and restoring damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh indicated that more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated later based on the results of further damage assessments. He named Gracia Szczech of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Szczech said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.