Tag Archives: flood

Senate Candidate Sues Over 2010 Flood Damage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state Senate candidate is suing the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service over damage to his home during the 2010 Nashville flood.
Phillip North filed his suit Monday claiming the two federal agencies were negligent. He seeks $360,000 for a $200,000 decline in property value plus damage to items not covered by flood insurance.
The Democratic nominee in the 20th District told The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/T8ZAXb ) it wasn’t great timing to have to sue in the middle of the campaign and he agonized over filing the lawsuit.
The corps has also been sued by Gaylord Entertainment Co. over the handling of the flood.
The agency successfully argued the government cannot be held liable in similar lawsuits from Hurricane Katrina.

State Providing Flood Relief Where FEMA Did Not

A state agency has awarded Washington County $300,000 in disaster relief for damage from last month’s floods, reports the Johnson City Press.
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency funds would supplement a Federal Home Loan Bank grant for housing repairs not covered by insurance or other disaster relief programs. The funds would be used to serve households at or below 80 percent of area median income and would require a 50 percent personal match.
“All of Washington County has spoken with one voice about the need for disaster assistance in our area,” state Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, said in announcing the relief in a news release. “I appreciate THDA stepping up and bringing help to those in our community who faced flooding.
“This is a great first step and I will continue working with Mayor Eldridge and other leaders to make sure we receive the help we need.”
The funds were made available from the THDA Housing Trust Fund. The funds will either be administered from the county or another agency. A decision on that will be made later this week, according to Hill’s news release.
…The Federal Emergency Management Agency ruled that the area did not meet the criteria for aid despite significant damage to scores of homes and other properties in Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties.
There was an $8.5 million threshold for the area to qualify for federal dollars to help residents rebuild what raging flood water swept away or destroyed. Affirmation would have cleared the way for residents to be reimbursed up to $30,000 for repairs.

No Federal Flood Aid for Northeast TN

Northeast Tennessee residents who suffered property damage from this month’s massive flooding will not receive federal financial assistance, reports the Johnson City Press.
Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has ruled that the area did not meet the criteria for aid despite significant damage to scores of homes and other properties in Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties.
Damage from the Aug. 5 storm that brought at least four inches of rain in an hour to the region affected many homeowners in the Dry Creek community as well as residents and businesses in the Johnson City area.
There was an $8.5 million threshold for the area to qualify for federal dollars to help residents rebuild what raging flood water swept away or destroyed. Affirmation would have cleared the way for residents to be reimbursed up to $30,000 for repairs.

FEMA Funding Flap Impacts TN

Corker Says Don’t Worry
Despite high-level warnings to the contrary, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said April’s tornado victims shouldn’t worry about getting long-term disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to the Chattanooga TFP.
“I don’t see any way people are going to be left hanging,” he said Wednesday.
FEMA Director Craig Fugate told reporters on Monday that money designated for long-term, post-tornado rebuilding projects in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia would be diverted to more immediate needs for Hurricane Irene victims.
Based upon FEMA’s current funding levels — less than $1 billion and running low, officials said — any work orders that aren’t in the pipeline could be at risk unless Congress allocates additional dollars. Already-approved FEMA projects are safe, Fugate said.
Corker, a Republican who routinely criticizes federal intervention and once said “you should never vote ‘no’ on spending reductions,” took a different approach Wednesday while offering few specifics for victims reeling from the tri-state region’s deadliest-ever natural disaster in April.

Nashville Flood Buyouts at Risk?
Dozens of Nashville flood victims could face delays in receiving government buyouts after the Federal Emergency Management Agency placed a freeze on long-term disaster relief spending this week on the heels of Hurricane Irene, reports the Tennessean.
Metro has completed two rounds of buyouts since the May 2010 flood that pummeled Nashville and its neighboring counties. But three additional rounds of buyouts are still in the application process, and owners of those 118 properties remain in the waiting phase.
Mayor Karl Dean’s spokeswoman, Bonna Johnson, said Metro was working with state and federal officials to determine the impact of the freeze on Metro’s buyout program.
“Mayor Dean is concerned that a freeze in FEMA funding could mean delays in the current buyout program and could limit any future program,” Johnson said.

Legislators Produes Bipartisan Bill on Tax Relief for Flood Victims

From the House Democratic Caucus
(Nashville) — House Democrats and Republicans filed a bill Tuesday to provide tax relief for flood and tornado victims.
Tennesseans that qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance authorized by President Barack Obama, under the measure, could buy appliances, building materials and home furnishings tax free through the end of the year.
“The most important thing right now is for everyone to keep all their receipts until this legislation is approved,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley). “We’ve got to help our friends and neighbors get back on their feet. We plan to move this legislation through as quickly as possible, so that Tennesseans can start putting their lives back together.”
The proposal provides for tax exemptions on household appliances up to $3,200 per item, building materials up to $500 per item and furnishings up to $3,200 per item. The exemptions are capped at $2,500 per household. Also, a $25,000 fine would be imposed on anyone who fraudulently applies for the assistance.
The deadline for filing receipts with the Department of Revenue is February 29, 2011.
“Our hearts go out to those that lost so much due to these terrible acts of nature,” said House Democratic Floor Leader Lois DeBerry (D-Memphis). “We’ll be issuing more information on how to apply for these tax refunds when the bill passes next week.”

Nine Counties Approved for Federal Disaster Aid

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved nine counties to receive federal disaster assistance due to tornadoes and flash flooding in the state on April 4 and 5, 2011.
The counties include: Chester, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Henderson, Humphreys, Lake, Shelby and Sumner.

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6 More Counties Approved for Disaster Aid

News release from the governor’s office:
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the federal government has approved six additional counties to receive federal assistance as a result of the severe storms, flash flooding and tornadoes that struck the state April 25 through April 28, 2011.
Bledsoe, Cocke, Johnson, McMinn, Monroe and Rhea counties have been approved in the individual assistance category.
As a result of the severe weather, Tennessee suffered 37 fatalities and more than 500 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage. At the height of the emergency, up to 18 shelters provided essential needs for 233 people.
Residents who sustained losses in these counties can begin applying for assistance immediately through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
“As we work through the recovery process, I appreciate the federal government continuing to help Tennesseans impacted by these storms receive the assistance they need,” Haslam said.
Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties received approval May 2.
Additional counties may be added to the federal declaration as damage assessments of those counties affected by the April 25 storms are completed by local officials with TEMA and FEMA.
For more updates regarding the state’s response, visit the TEMA website at www.tnema.org.

Obama Signs Disaster Declaration for Four TN Counties

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a disaster declaration for Tennessee after last week’s line of tornado-spawning storms that killed at least 34 people in the state.
Sunday’s action makes federal funding available to storm survivors in the Tennessee counties of Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington. The assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.
Federal funding also is available to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations for debris removal and emergency protective measures.
At least 342 people were killed in the storms that raged across the South last week, including 250 in Alabama, 35 in Mississippi and 15 in Georgia. Obama had already signed disaster declarations for those three states.

Haslam Seeks Disaster Designation, Signs Executive Order on Storms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has asked President Obama to declare four Tennessee counties as federal disaster areas following the severe storms that struck the state this week.
Such a declaration would allow Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties to access various federal assistance programs.
As local officials and relief agencies complete damage assessments, other counties are expected be added to the disaster area declaration request.
Haslam said he is confident the federal government will expedite the request so Tennessee can get to work helping people rebuild their lives as quickly as possible.
Thirty-four people died and more than 500 homes were destroyed or sustained major damage in Tennessee because of the storms.
And this:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has temporarily suspended limits on the height, weight, length and width of permitted vehicles carrying emergency supplies to the state’s storm-ravaged communities.
The executive order applies to vehicles carrying emergency equipment or supplies on behalf of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the emergency management agencies of other state.
The order also suspends limitations on the hours of service on operators of commercial motor vehicles carrying fuel, food, water and other emergency supplies.
Haslam said it is his priority to ensure that food, water and other emergency relief supplies get to those in need as soon as possible. Thirty-four people were killed in Tennessee by the tornadoes that hit the state Wednesday night and early Thursday.
The state’s congressional delegation wrote a letter to President Obama backing the application for disaster relief. The text is below.

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SBA Grants Disaster Declaration for Knox and Eight Neighboring Counties

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted his request for a disaster declaration for Knox and eight contiguous counties in Tennessee following the severe storms and flooding in February.
“The notice we received from the federal government is welcome news for Tennesseans in these counties,” said Haslam. “I’m pleased the federal government has granted this declaration to provide them some relief.”
An SBA disaster declaration makes homeowners and businesses affected by the disaster eligible for low interest loans. In this case, the rate for homeowners will be 2.56 percent or 5.12 percent, depending on whether they can get credit elsewhere, and business rates range from 4 to 6 percent.
SBA declarations make victims in adjacent counties eligible for aid as well, so the declaration includes the Tennessee counties of Anderson, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union.
Those affected have until May 23, 2011, to apply for relief from physical damage and until Dec. 23, 2011, to apply for relief from economic injury caused by the Feb. 28, 2011, storms and flooding.
Applicants can contact the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA’s website at www.sba.gov. Hearing impaired individuals may call (800) 877-8339.
Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.