President orders disaster funds for state

From Staff Reports

   The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Thursday announced that President Bush has authorized the use of federal disaster funds to help communities in Tennessee recover from the effects of severe winter storms that struck the state last month.
   Carter County is on the list to receive federal assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
   Michael D. Brown, of the Department of Homeland Security, said the President took action under a major disaster declaration issued yesterday following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal relief.
   The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms and flooding that occurred over the period of Feb. 14-26.
   Brown designated 26 counties eligible for federal funding to pay affected local governments, 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
   Eligible counties include Anderson, Bledsoe, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Cumberland, Decatur, Gentress, Grainger, Hancock, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Johnson, Lewis, Loudon, Marion, Meigs, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Stewart, Union and Van Buren.
   Brown said the declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. He indicated that more counties and additional forms of aid may be designated later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
   Procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.