Governor seeks federal disaster declaration to help counties recovering from Oct. 26 storm


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee requested federal declaration Monday of a major disaster in Tennessee from the severe weather and straight line winds on Oct. 26, when the remnants of Tropical Storm Olga crossed the state.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee

“Emergency managers and first responders have worked tirelessly to help their communities recover from the impacts of the severe weather in October,” Lee said. “This request for federal assistance will further lessen the financial burden on local governments and utilities that have stretched their resources for storm response and recovery efforts.”

Lee’s request asks the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make its Public Assistance program available to 10 Tennessee counties impacted by the Oct. 26 storm, to include the counties of Benton, Decatur, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Humphreys, McNairy, Montgomery, Perry and Wayne.

According to TEMA, the 10 counties combined reported more than $21.8 million in damages to roads and bridges, county and municipal structures, and utilities and water control facilities. The total also includes costs the counties incurred for emergency work performed during and after the response, such as debris removal and power restoration.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program reimburses local and state governments, and certain private, nonprofit organizations, for work or repairs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and recreational facilities.