May Severe Weather Brings Request for Federal Assistance

Gov. Bill Lee has requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Joe Biden for Tennessee counties that were impacted by the severe weather and tornadoes on May 8-9, 2024.

“Federal disaster assistance will bring much-needed economic relief and resources to help our communities and fellow Tennesseans recover from the devastation of these storms,” said Gov. Lee.

Tennessee requested disaster assistance from two programs, Individual Assistance and Public Assistance. If granted, the Major Disaster Declaration, would make federal Individual Assistance available to Cannon, Giles, Maury Robertson, Rutherford, and Sumner counties and federal Public Assistance available to Cannon, Cheatham, Giles, Hamilton, Jackson, Macon, Maury, Montgomery, Polk, Smith, Sumner, and Warren counties.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance program may help with rental assistance, home repair and personal property replacement, in addition to other uninsured or underinsured disaster losses. The maximum aid available under this program is $42,500, and while it is intended to stabilize survivors, it does not cover all losses they may have suffered.

The FEMA Public Assistance program reimburses jurisdictions, and certain private, non-profit organizations for emergency work and uninsured infrastructure repair, such as debris removal, utilities restoration and repair, and eligible costs of responding to the emergency. 

More information about the federal Individual Assistance program is available here on FEMA’s website and more information about the Public Assistance program is available here on FEMA’s website

Tennessee experienced several rounds of severe thunderstorms which resulted in ten confirmed tornadoes, large, damaging hail, widespread areas of damaging straight-line winds, and heavy rainfall of up to nine inches in a 24-hour period, which caused significant flash flooding and riverine flooding from May 8 to May 9, 2024.  The severe weather claimed three lives in Maury County, disrupted travel, downed trees and power lines, and cut off power for tens of thousands of Tennesseans.

Agricultural and business losses are not eligible under FEMA’s programs and TEMA continues to work with federal agencies to determine which aid can be made available for those damages.