Tennessee members of congress urge for approval of major disaster declaration
WASHINGTON, DC (WDEF) — Tennessee members of Congress want Federal disaster assistance for dozens of counties affected by severe weather.
On Saturday, every member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation urged President Trump to quickly approve Governor Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Tennessee. It is to help 58 Tennessee counties impacted by flooding and severe weather in February and March.
The five counties in the Tennessee Valley included are Bledsoe County, Hamilton County, Marion County, Rhea County and Sequatchie County.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn and Representatives Tim Burchett, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green, David Kustoff, Phil Roe and John Rose.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we are writing to support Governor Bill Lee’s request to declare a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act as a result of the flooding and severe storms that impacted our state beginning on February 6, 2019.
Governor Bill Lee has submitted a request for Public Assistance for Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Cheatham, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Decatur, Dekalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fentress, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Hawkins, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lauderdale, Lewis, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, McNairy, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Perry, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Tipton, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, and Weakley Counties to respond to the severe flooding and overwhelming storms that tore through Tennessee. The State has also requested Individual Assistance for Decatur, Hardin, Humphreys, Perry, and Sevier Counties. We strongly urge you to approve Governor Lee’s request, and we hope you will consider our State’s request as soon as possible.
We thank you for your Administration’s ongoing response, specifically the March 15, 2019, announcement that $10 million is immediately available to help repair roads damaged by flood and landslides. However, the severe storms that swept across the State of Tennessee beginning on February 6th brought severe storms and flooding that cost the state over $151 million. In response to the floods and severe storms, the State of Tennessee provided over 4,000 meals, distributed almost 300 cases of water, monitored fifty-eight rock slides or falls, and was forced to close down 75 locations on state highways. Federal Emergency Management Agency and State joint Preliminary Damage Assessments in affected counties for both Public and Individual Assistance occurred between March 12, 2019, and March 21, 2019.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the beginning of this incident, and we are grateful for their efforts to respond to Tennessee’s needs. Our offices can provide you with any additional information should you have any questions.