Four Tennessee Counties Approved for Disaster Assistance/Haslam Requests Emergency Funding for Flooding in West TN

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined FEMA Director Craig Fugate today to announce the federal government has approved four Tennessee counties to receive federal assistance as a result of the severe storms, flash flooding and tornadoes that struck the state beginning on April 25 and continuing to April 28, 2011.

Residents who sustained losses in these counties can begin applying for assistance immediately through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

“I appreciate our local and state leaders for the tremendous effort they are making in all of the impacted communities, and I want to thank President Obama and Director Fugate for their swift action in responding to Tennessee’s request for assistance,” Haslam said. “Hopefully this aid will help Tennesseans impacted by these storms put their lives back together as quickly as possible.”

Bradley, Greene, Hamilton and Washington counties have been approved in both the individual and public assistance categories.

An emergency declaration designation for public assistance means local governments in impacted counties are only currently eligible to apply for federal assistance for debris removal and emergency protective. Other categories of the public assistance program may be added later.

Additional counties may be added to the federal declaration as damage assessments of those counties affected by the April 25 storms are completed by local officials with TEMA and FEMA.

As a result of the severe weather, Tennessee suffered 36 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.

For more updates regarding the state’s response, visit the TEMA website at


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam asked President Barack Obama to authorize emergency funding of $10 million to assist the state and local jurisdictions with evacuation preparedness and activities in West Tennessee due to flooding that began April 21, 2011, a result of the record rainfall on the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

Should this request be granted, local governments in Dyer, Lake, Shelby and Stewart counties would have access to direct federal assistance for evacuation actions.  

“Our priority right now is saving lives and protecting property in West Tennessee as we continuously monitor the flooding situation,” Haslam said. “We want to secure the necessary federal assistance for local governments working to protect their citizens and infrastructure.”

Dyer and Lake counties along the Mississippi River have declared local emergencies to deal with erosion and seepage along the counties’ levee systems. Additionally, Dyer, Lake and Stewart counties have begun voluntary evacuations.

In Shelby County, six shelters are open in Memphis and local officials have evacuated hundreds of people from homes in low-lying areas. The Tennessee Department of Transportation and Memphis Public Works are working to keep major roadways open, while county officials monitor the situation at Saint Jude Hospital for possible evacuation.

On April 26, Haslam declared a state of emergency as a precautionary move because of the severe weather and forecast of Mississippi River flooding. Haslam was briefed April 29 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on recent storms and their effect on water levels along the Mississippi River system.

Tiptonville in Lake County has been under a voluntary evacuation notice since last week, and Millington in Shelby County issued an evacuation order earlier May 2.

The Department of Military, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Tennessee Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters, Nashville and Memphis Districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and regional offices of the National Weather Service, are providing critical information and emergency protective services to supplement local efforts.

Damage assessments continue in East Tennessee following the storms and tornadoes that impacted that part of the state last week. Additional counties are expected to be added to the initial declaration from May 2 as those assessments continue.

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