Five more counties eligible for federal disaster relief for June storms

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that five counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration after severe weather on June 5-10, 2014. A total of 23 counties are now included in the disaster.

State and local governments and electrical utilities spent nearly $10 million in response to, and recovery from, the wind damage and flash-flooding impacts.

Claiborne, Gibson, Giles, Haywood and Weakley counties have been determined to be adversely affected and qualified for federal assistance to local governments. Damage assessments by state and federal emergency management previously resulted in declarations for Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties.

Declared counties receive federal assistance that provide reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible disaster-related emergency and recovery costs. The state will provide local governments with half – or 12.5 percent – of the required local cost share. The presidential disaster declaration also includes FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program on a statewide basis.

“Flooding is one of the worst disasters to experience as a community,” Haslam said. “I’m glad these additional counties will be able to use the assistance to recovery more quickly than otherwise possible.”

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 mph, 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.

“FEMA has been a great partner with the state,” Deputy Commissioner for TEMA and Homeland Security Advisor David Purkey said. “We’re pleased with the progress that has been made since the initial declaration.”

Teams of public assistance specialists from TEMA and FEMA have been meeting with local governments to get them started with the disaster recovery reimbursement process.

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.