Tennessee Ice Storm Recognized as Federal Disaster

Friday, March 11, 2022 | 07:05pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – At the request of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, President Joe Biden today granted a Major Disaster Declaration to help seven counties recovering from the severe winter storm on Feb. 3, and Feb. 4, 2022.

“Emergencies bring tremendous financial burdens to local governments and organizations who work to save and protect lives, and address rebuilding needs in the aftermath,” Gov. Lee said. “This federal assistance will bring much-needed relief to these impacted communities.”

The Major Disaster Declaration will make FEMA’s Public Assistance Program available to local jurisdictions and certain private, non-profit organizations in the counties of Crockett, Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Shelby, Tipton, and Weakley.

Gov. Lee requested a joint federal, state, and local review of the ice storm damage on Feb. 9, 2022, with his official request for a Major Disaster Declaration following on March 3, 2022, tn.gov/tema/news/2022/3/3/gov--lee-requests-federal-relief-for-february-ice-storm.html.

The Public Assistance program, fema.gov/assistance/public, will reimburse eligible applicants for winter storm costs associated with debris removal, restoring utilities, and emergency response.

The Major Disaster Declaration will also make the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program available to all counties in Tennessee to provide reimbursement assistance for eligible projects that prevent or reduce the risk to life and property from natural hazards.

The Major Disaster Declaration leaves open the possibility of including more Tennessee counties, depending on any further reviews of damage assessments.

Tennessee experienced dual weather hazards on Feb. 3, and Feb. 4, 2022, as heavy rainfall in West and Middle Tennessee turned to freezing rain and ice accumulations.  The ice storm claimed one life in Haywood County, disrupted travel, downed trees and powerlines, and cut off power for tens of thousands of Tennesseans.

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.