State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) today applauded the federal government’s announcement that Governor Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration for 56 counties impacted by February’s severe weather event — including Campbell and Union Counties — has been approved.

This declaration will provide critical funding to help rebuild communities that were devastated by historic flooding and significant severe weather in late February. Monies included will address bridges and roads, as well as utilities and other infrastructure needs. Because of this federal declaration, Tennessee is also eligible for the federal Hazard Mitigation Program, which provides assistance to communities to prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property from natural hazards.

Dennis Powers (L) shakes hands with Lynn Ray earlier this year prior to Ray’s presentation to a legislative committee

The February storms caused more than $80 million in damages to the state’s transportation network. Based upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) joint Public Disaster Assessments, requested counties demonstrated they had met or surpassed federally-established loss thresholds to qualify for relief through FEMA, with qualifying losses for county, municipal, state agency, and utility infrastructure impacts and emergency expenditures totaling $68.3 million.

“These are difficult times for all across our communities who are continuing to recover from this historic event,” said Representative Powers. “These federal funds will help us better address our many local needs caused by the severe storms. I know our district will come back from this event even stronger than it was before, and my office stands ready to continue to support recovery efforts.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/24/2019-4PM)