Gov. Lee’s Federal Disaster Relief Request Approved for 45 Tennessee Counties

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 06:39pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced approval of his federal assistance request, making recovery assistance available to 45 counties impacted by severe weather, flooding and straight-line winds on March 1-3.

“This March, severe weather impacted communities across Tennessee, and I commend local leaders for their work to provide swift response and recovery efforts,” said Gov. Lee. “We remain committed to ensuring that critical resources are made available to impacted Tennesseans in the days ahead.”

The 45 counties named in the declaration are Benton, Bledsoe, Campbell, Carroll, Cheatham, Clay, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Fentress, Gibson, Giles, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Macon, Madison, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Montgomery, Moore, Obion, Perry, Pickett, Polk, Rhea, Robertson, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Wayne and White counties.

“FEMA’s Public Assistance Program is a valuable resource to communities,” said TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan. “These funds can be used by local jurisdictions to respond and recover from major disasters or emergencies, such as the severe weather that impacted Tennessee in early March.”

Gov. Lee and TEMA Director Sheehan also shared guidance and resources that are available to Tennesseans in impacted areas:

FEMA Public Assistance Program

The Major Disaster Declaration allows eligible government entities and certain private non-profits in the declared counties to apply for reimbursement of specific expenses related to the disaster under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) program.

Information about FEMA's PA program and its eligible reimbursement categories can be found here.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program

The federal declaration also makes Tennessee eligible for the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides assistance to communities to prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property from natural hazards.

During the severe weather event, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued numerous warnings for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, and high winds. Widespread high winds of 60 to 98 mph resulted in significant power outages and 6 weather-related fatalities. Combined, the 45 impacted counties reported more than $34 million in damaged structures and utilities. The total also includes costs the counties incurred for emergency work performed during and after the response, such as debris removal and power restoration.

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