NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee is appealing a recent Federal Emergency Management Agency decision to deny his request to provide federal storm and flood assistance in five counties, including Sevier County.
Sevier Co. was among the hardest hit after storms, heavy rains and straight-line winds caused destructive flooding, landslides, and other destruction across the state -- causing millions of dollars of damage and damaging thousands of homes and businesses.
While many requests for federal disaster aid have been approved, FEMA denied the governor's March 22 request for individual assistance in Decatur, Hardin, Humphreys, Perry and Sevier counties.
The governor said that level of individual federal aid is needed to help victims with expenses and serious needs who are unable to do so through other means, so he's not giving up yet and will appeal.
"I am committed to pursuing every avenue available to obtain relief for our citizens, communities, and neighbors who are still recovering from the flooding and storms,” Gov. Lee said.
Gov. Lee also asked FEMA to extend the period of damage to Feb. 6, in order to expand the Public Assistance relief provided in the federal declaration that was approved.
Currently, 59 counties are eligible for the federal Public Assistance program, made available in the Major Disaster Declaration for Tennessee on April 17, 2019, to include: Anderson, Bedford, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Cheatham, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Decatur, Dekalb, Dickson, Dyer, Fentress, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Hawkins, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Loudon, Marion, Marshall, McNairy, Moore, Morgan, Obion, Overton, Perry, Rhea, Roane, Robertson, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Tipton, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, and Wayne.