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Federal aid granted for nine counties impacted by tornado outbreak

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse jurisdictions for eligible work or provide direct operational assistance.

TENNESSEE, USA — Governor Bill Lee announced this morning that President Joe Biden has granted an emergency declaration and will make federal assistance available for nine counties in Tennessee impacted by the tornado outbreak reported this weekend.

Governor Lee asked President Joe Biden on Monday for an emergency declaration to make federal assistance available to Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart, and Weakley counties for debris removal and emergency protective measures, according to a press release.

“Our emergency officials, first responders, and law enforcement brought hope where there was none in the aftermath of these storms,” Gov. Lee said. "Our effort now will be to bring as much relief as possible to these devastated communities.”

Since the emergency declaration was granted, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse jurisdictions for eligible work or provide direct operational assistance.

Governor Lee said Tennessee will seek a Major Disaster Declaration for qualifying jurisdictions after local officials are able to complete a thorough assessment of storm damage to make FEMA’s Public Assistance and Individual Assistance programs available to the declared counties that qualify for federal help.

The storms produced at least seven tornadoes across west and middle Tennessee, claimed four lives in the state, and left more than 150,000 people without power.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has made a recovery web page available in an effort to help storm survivors find resources and support. Click here for more information.

On Monday evening, Gov. Lee signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Tennessee to help facilitate relief efforts in Northwest and Middle Tennessee. 

“The impact of severe weather in Tennessee and our neighboring states has been devastating,” said Gov. Lee. “We remain committed to providing the necessary resources to assist Tennesseans as they recover from this tragic loss.”

The order relaxes some laws to allow for operational flexibility, including allowing people to assist with storm cleanup and suspending restrictions on vehicles transporting emergency supplies.

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