Feds grant gov’s request for disaster aid to eight TN counties

News release from governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the federal government will provide public assistance to eight counties due to the severe winter weather that brought snow, ice and sleet accumulations to the state from March 2 to March 4, 2014.

The presidential disaster declaration will allow government entities and certain private non-profits in Carroll, Cheatham, Dickson, Haywood, Houston, Madison, Shelby and Tipton counties to apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to disaster response and recovery.

“Local governments, volunteer organizations and electrical cooperatives responded to the needs of the communities when it was needed,” Haslam said. “This assistance will relieve some of the financial costs to these counties as they recover from this winter emergency.”

State and local governments, and electrical utilities, spent more than $12,232,215 in their response and recovery actions before, during and after the winter storm.

The federal assistance program will allow eligible entities in the designated counties to receive a 75 percent reimbursement for costs related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.

A powerful cold front moved into Tennessee on Sunday morning, March 2, bringing significantly colder temperatures and winter precipitation that did not end until the early evening of Monday, March 3. Freezing rain and ice were common over parts of northwest and north central Middle Tennessee with accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch. The ice accumulation brought down tree limbs and power lines causing several power outages.

This is Tennessee’s first presidential disaster declaration since 2012 when severe storms brought tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding through East Tennessee on Feb. 29.

For more updates regarding the state’s response, visit the TEMA website at www.tnema.org.

Note: The White House news release on the disaster declaration is below.

News release from the White Today, the President declared a major disaster in the State of Tennessee and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm during the period of March 2-4, 2014.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm in the counties of Carroll, Cheatham, Dickson, Haywood, Houston, Madison, Shelby, and Tipton.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Terry L. Quarles as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
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