Haslam Requests Presidential Disaster Declaration

Saturday, April 30, 2011 | 03:40 pm

Initial counties to include Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington
More counties to be added as damage assessments are completed

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has asked President Obama to declare four Tennessee Counties as federal disaster areas following the severe storms, flash flooding and tornadoes that struck the state beginning on April 25, 2011. 

Should this initial request for assistance be granted Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties would have access to varying levels of federal assistance programs. 

As local officials and responding agencies complete damage assessments, other counties are expected be added to the April 25 declaration request.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones in this emergency, and I commend the first responders who have spent many days engaged in search and rescue operations to save lives," Haslam said. "I am confident the federal government will expedite our major disaster request so we can get to the work of helping people rebuild their lives as quickly as possible." 

As a result of the severe weather, Tennessee suffered 34 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.  

In the request, Haslam seeks Public Assistance for debris removal and emergency protective actions and Individual Assistance, including 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 Statewide Mitigation Grant Program. 

The Department of Military/Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment & Conservation, Department of Health (EMS), Department of Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Safety, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Civil Air Patrol and American Red Cross responded and provided emergency protective services to supplement local efforts.  

Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available.