Roughly two weeks after devastating storms hit the state of Tennessee during this year's Memorial Day weekend, Governor Bill Haslam is asking President Trump to declare it a major disaster area and is requesting federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The aid is being requested for the twelve counties most hit by the storms: Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith.
All mentioned counties have taken significant damage. Power lines were knocked down , leaving more than 180,000 people without power, and fallen trees have caused damage to public and private property. Thus far, estimated damages total $15.9 million, with an additional $14.6 million likely needed for emergency assistance and cleanup. No deaths were reported as a consequence of the storms.
The requested federal money would go toward local and state government to pay for work and repairs that were already completed as well as certain private and nonprofit organizations that helped with the cleanup efforts.
Residents in Shelby Country that meet certain disaster relief eligibility requirements would receive financial assistance as well.
In his statement, Gov. Haslam said: “I believe we have demonstrated to federal officials the need for assistance exists and if granted will lessen some of the financial burden on local governments and utilities that have stretched their resources in storm response and recovery efforts.”