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Scott, Fentress counties among TN counties in line for federal disaster help after February weather

President Joe Biden approved disaster relief funding Wednesday. At least six people in Tennessee died as a result of the storms.

Scott and Fentress counties are among 13 counties in Tennessee in line to get disaster relief tied to February winter storms.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally declared a disaster had occurred in parts of the state Feb. 11-19 because of severe winter storms.

Federal aid will be made available to supplement state and local recovery efforts in these counties: Scott, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Moore, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Shelby, and Smith.

FEMA’s award of a Major Disaster Declaration means the eligible county jurisdictions will be able to seek reimbursement through the federal Public Assistance program for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and infrastructure, according to a press release from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

"A severe winter storm on top of a global pandemic is a very challenging situation,” Gov. Lee said. “I commend the first responders and local officials who worked to keep their communities safe in such dire circumstances, and I thank FEMA for their help in providing financial relief to our impacted counties.”

At least six people died as a result of the storms in the state. Kentucky also suffered. Brutal weather also hits parts of Texas and the Southeast.

Local damage assessments afterward exceeded Tennessee’s federal threshold of $9,836,462.75 needed to ask FEMA for a joint review of damages, and ultimately to Gov. Lee’s request of FEMA for a Major Disaster Declaration.

   

"Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storms..." a White House statement Wednesday reads.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide, according to the White House.