Haslam asks for Marion, 6 other counties, to be declared disaster areas
NASHVILLE (WRCB) – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has asked President Obama to declare seven counties federal disaster areas.
Governor Haslam is asking for Marion, Anderson, Claiborne, Grainger, Henderson, Knox, and Loudon counties to be declared disaster areas following severe storms, straight-line winds, flash flooding, flooding, hail and tornadoes on June 18 through June 25.
Should this request for assistance be granted, the counties would have access to varying levels of federal assistance programs.
"This year, a series of natural disasters, including several historic floods and unprecedented storms have impacted several Tennessee families, businesses and communities," Haslam said. "Federal assistance would help people restore their lives and help local governments rebuild their infrastructure."
The severe impacts to the affected counties included: bridge washouts, mudslides, widespread debris and downed power lines blocking critical emergency routes. A lightning strike caused a complete failure of a sewer treatment facility and an area airport was closed due to taxiway erosion and mud submersion.
Approximately 464,000 people in Claiborne and Knox Counties were impacted by the storms; there was one fatality and multiple individuals were transported for medical treatment of injuries. Two shelters were opened. In all, more than 300 homes were found to have suffered major damage making them uninhabitable.
In the request, Haslam seeks Individual Assistance for Knox and Claiborne counties, to include the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Food Stamp Program, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Legal Aid, and Small Businesses Administration disaster loans. The request also seeks assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Haslam also seeks Public Assistance for all the counties in the request for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and rebuilding and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, utilities and recreational facilities.
Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.