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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Seeks Federal Support for Nashville in Aftermath of Christmas Day Explosion

Saturday, December 26, 2020 | 04:31pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is asking the federal government to assist Metropolitan Nashville in its response and recovery efforts following the intentional explosion yesterday in the downtown area that injured three people and damaged 41 buildings.

Gov. Lee’s request asks the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide assistance to Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County for debris removal and emergency protective measures through the Public Assistance program, under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Information about FEMA's Public Assistance program is at:  https://www.fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit

Around 6:30 a.m., Central, yesterday a recreational vehicle exploded in the area of 2nd Ave. N. and Commerce St. in downtown Nashville.

The explosion, which is under investigation, affected residential and commercial structures over multiple city blocks and directly impacted AT&T’s communications system across Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama. 

The communications interruption further disrupted service at 911 call centers across Tennessee and grounded flights at Nashville International Airport.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency activated the State Emergency Operations Center for the incident at 9 a.m., Central, and the SEOC remains operational today. 

TEMA staff are also providing direct staff support to Metro Nashville’s Emergency Operations Center.

The Tennessee Dept. of Transportation and Tennessee Highway Patrol are supporting local and federal law enforcement and response agencies at the scene of the investigation with road closures and cordons of the area.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are leading the investigation and coordinating with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

A curfew is in place until 4:30 p.m., Sunday, for downtown Nashville in an area from the Cumberland River to 4th Ave. N. and between Broadway and James Robertson Parkway.

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About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders. Follow TEMA on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and, at www.tn.gov/tema.

Attachment: Press Release PDF