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Federal Assistance will Support Recovery Efforts in 13 Tennessee Counties from February Winter Storm

Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 09:59am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency will grant his request for a Major Disaster Declaration to help several counties impacted during severe winter storms in the state from Feb. 11, to Feb. 19, 2021.

"A severe winter storm on top of a global pandemic is a very challenging situation,” Gov. Lee said. “I commend the first responders and local officials who worked to keep their communities safe in such dire circumstances, and I thank FEMA for their help in providing financial relief to our impacted counties.”

The 13 counties included in FEMA’s Major Disaster Declaration are Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Moore, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Scott, Shelby, and Smith.

FEMA’s award of a Major Disaster Declaration means the eligible county jurisdictions will be able to seek reimbursement through the federal Public Assistance program for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure.

In mid-February, an Arctic air mass began moving through Tennessee with waves of freezing rain, heavy snow, ice, and very cold temperatures. 

The severe winter weather caused a total of six fatalities and at the height of the storm, more than 20,000 Tennesseans were without power.

Local damage assessments afterward exceeded Tennessee’s federal threshold of $9,836,462.75 needed to ask FEMA for a joint review of damages, and ultimately to Gov. Lee’s request of FEMA for a Major Disaster Declaration.

For more information about FEMA's PA program visit

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

Attachments: Press Release PDF