WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Tennessee to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from June 5-10.
The action by President Barack Obama makes federal funding 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 severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties, officials said.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, FEMA said in a press release.
W. Michael Moore has been named as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Moore said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
It wasn’t immediately clear what work in Anderson and Roane counties might be eligible. During the severe storms that ripped through East Tennessee in early June, roughly 4,000 customers lost power in Oak Ridge, and about 70 damaged homes required repairs by an electrician before power could be restored.
Damage ranged from shingles being torn off roofs, and siding stripped from buildings, to limbs and tress on cars and structures. Downed trees caused widespread power outages throughout the Clinton Utilities Board service area. At the peak of the outages, more than 6,000 customers were without power.
Straight-line winds estimated at 80 mph packed a destructive punch in Clinton, where the storm destroyed the Passtime Garage downtown. The storm also flipped a tractor trailer onto its side on Lake City Highway and ripped the old Hoskins Drug Store neon sign off the front of a building on Market Street in Clinton.
Officials from the National Weather Service office in Morristown said an EF-0 tornado touched down along 3rd Street in Kingston. The winds of an EF-0 tornado are around 65-85 miles per hour.
The NWS said the widespread damage throughout East Tennessee was almost entirely from straight-line winds and down-bursts. Kingston was the only site suspected of sustaining tornado damage.
Federal aid programs for the state of Tennessee declaration
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the state of Tennessee.
Assistance for the state and affected local governments can include as required:
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
- Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
How to apply for assistance:
- Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
FEMA’s mission is to support the nation’s citizens and first responders to ensure that “as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards,” the press release said.
Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.
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