Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that President Bush has authorized the use of federal disaster funds to help communities in Tennessee recover from the effects of severe winter storms that struck the state last month.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA director and under secretary designee for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, a part of the Department of Homeland Security, said the President took the action under a major disaster declaration issued today following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms and flooding that occurred over the period of February 14-26.
Immediately after the declaration, Brown designated 26 counties eligible for federal funding to pay affected local governments 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
The eligible counties include Anderson, Bledsoe, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Cumberland, Decatur, Fentress, Grainger, Hancock, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Johnson, Lewis, Loudon, Marion, Meigs, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Stewart, Union and Van Buren.
Brown said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that more counties and additional forms of aid may be designated later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Charles M. Butler of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate the federal relief effort. Butler said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.