NASHVILLE - Four Tennessee counties have been approved for federal assistance as a result of extreme weather and flooding that struck the state April 30-May 2.
Cannon, Giles and Marshall counties have been approved in both the individual and public assistance categories. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in Cannon, Giles and Marshall counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
In addition, Pickett County has been approved in the public assistance category. The designation means local governments in Pickett County are eligible to apply for federal assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairing, restoring or replacing damaged public facilities.
Two of the counties announced today - Marshall and Pickett - were not among the counties for which Governor Phil Bredesen originally requested disaster assistance on May 3, but preliminary damage assessments conducted since the initial request led both counties to qualify.
Forty-two counties were previously approved for individual and public assistance, including Benton, Carroll, Cheatham, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Haywood, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Madison, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Sumner, Tipton, Williamson and Wilson.
Today's announcement brings the number of counties approved for both individual and public assistance to 45 and adds Pickett County in the public assistance category.
FEMA will schedule briefings with local officials in approved counties to provide information on the assistance available and how to apply. Federal, state and local teams have been inspecting all disaster-related damage, examining expenses identified by the state or local representatives, and preparing reports that outline the scope of repair work needed and the estimated restoration cost.
For public assistance projects that are eventually approved, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the cost. The remaining 25 percent is split between the state and local government. These projects may include such things as debris removal, emergency services related to the severe storms and flooding, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities. The latter category includes eligible schools, libraries and other public buildings, and repairing roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities and recreational facilities.
Additional information about state and federal assistance for affected counties will be released as details become available. For more updates regarding the state's response, visit the TEMA website at www.tnema.org.