INITIAL AUTHORIZATION MADE FOR CHEATHAM, DAVIDSON, HICKMAN AND WILLIAMSON,
ADDITIONAL COUNTIES EXPECTED TO BE ADDED IN COMING DAYS
NASHVILLE – The federal government today authorized a major disaster declaration for four Tennessee counties. Governor Phil Bredesen asked President Obama Monday to declare 52 counties federal disaster areas following the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that struck the state beginning Friday, April 30.
Today’s action makes federal funding available to individuals in Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman and Williamson Counties while declarations for additional Tennessee counties are expected in coming days.
As a result of the extreme weather conditions, Tennessee suffered 19 confirmed fatalities. Numerous nursing homes, apartment complexes and residences were evacuated due to rapidly rising waters and flash flooding. Water rescues and helicopter extractions were performed as flood waters continue to rush over hundreds of roads through cities, towns and neighborhoods. Many residents lost all of their possessions as homes were destroyed or sustained major damages.
“The federal government has moved quickly to assist Tennessee and I appreciate the quick action by President Obama to declare the first of what I expect will be many counties authorized for federal assistance,” said Bredesen. “In addition to the state and local resources utilized in the initial response, I know all counties impacted by these devastating storms are anxious for assistance and access to the resources of the federal government.”
Bredesen toured impacted areas of West and Middle Tennessee on Monday, May 3.FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate was in Tennessee and Bredesen also spoke by phone with President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday.
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the four counties, including both individual and public assistance.
Individual assistance can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Public assistance is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures only at this time. In addition, federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the four designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
As part of its community involvement programs, Taft Youth Center teamed up with the PTO from area schools to build picnic tables to be placed on the playgrounds. The PTO's provided the materials and Vocational Instructor Dennis Sapp instructed his students on the how to measure, cut and build the picnic tables. Many of the Taft students assisted and was proud of their accomplishments. So far they have built tables for Pikeville and Mary V. Wheeler Elementary Schools. Pictured are Taft Voc Inst Dennis Sapp and Pikeville Elementary Principal James Ellis.
In the other photo you'll see the results of another of our projects: Case Manager Grayson Beasley and Officer Donnie Watson joined together with students from the facility to assist the Van Buren County Head Start with its landscaping needs and minor repairs. Beasley and Watson informed the students of the need and informed them they would take two volunteers. Many students were excited and quickly volunteered. The decision was based on behavior and program goals as which students would get to help. Taft has had the privilege of helping twice now. Involvement like this helps the community and the students have a sense of pride in Taft and learn how wonderful it feels to help others.
When Kim Garland began working as a supervisor for Child Protective Services years ago she had recurring nightmares about children in mortal danger whom she could not help.
“It is a hard job,” Garland said of being a CPS investigator. “It’s hard to be faced with the kind of crises that families deal with where CPS has to get involved.”
CPS is a division of the Department of Children’s Services. Garland is one of three CPS supervisors for Washington County. Investigators with this division see things that are sometimes difficult to forget. Hospital visits can be especially disturbing, Garland said.
The recent flooding has taken an enormous toll on everyone. It is the rare person in West and Middle Tennessee who has not in someway been impacted. Nashville and the surrounding areas have been particularly hard hit. It will be a very long time before things are back to normal.
Our DCS family has done an incredible job of sticking together and making certain that our families and children are cared for. All of our foster families seem to be fine although a couple of them are currently in a motel until they can get back into their homes.
The Second Street DCS office in Nashville remains closed but will probably open as soon as we can get back into the parking lot. Our staff there were incredible. Anticipating that Monday would be a very bad day, they, with RA Carla Webb's leadership, implemented their emergency plan on Sunday. We had a real scare about hard copy records, but as of this moment we have not had any damage to the interior of the building.
The coming weeks and months ahead will continue to challenge all of us. We will, as we always do, pull together, help each other and make it successfully to the other side of this tragedy.
My sincerest thanks and appreciation to each of you who have and are working diligently to make certain that our families and children are cared for.
DANDRIDGE - Students in Larry Johnston's economics class are learning about risk and reward, gains and losses.He quizzes the teens about free enterprise, tests their knowledge of socialism and communism and invites discussion about the differences between Barack Obama, Fidel Castro and Kim Jong-il. . . The Knoxville News Sentinel visits the stock pickers at Mountain View
The residual effects of our weekend storms and flooding are continuing to impact some state office buildings in the Middle and West Tennessee.We understand that many employees and their families continue to feel the effects of the flooding.The purpose of this message is to provide an update on the office closures for which we are aware at time.
The following state office buildings will be CLOSED on Tuesday, May 4.Employees who normally work in these buildings should not report to work unless they receive a specific request from their supervisor.
Andrew Jackson State Office Building
Andrew Johnson Tower
All state office buildings in Metro Center
Department of Children’s Services 2nd Avenue Office
Department of Human Services 2nd Avenue Office
Motor Vehicle Management on Charlotte Avenue
State Records Center
Davy Crockett Tower
Employees who work in the following buildings, or in other offices in downtown or outside of Nashville which were closed on Monday should contact their supervisor for instructions on reporting to work on Tuesday, May 4.Local media may also have updates.
Centennial Drivers License Office
TPS/Department of Safety Foster Avenue Complex
Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute
State of Tennessee Surplus Property Warehouse
TDOT Region 3 Headquarters Building
Tennessee School for the Blind
State employee parking lots closest to Charlotte Avenue remain accessible at this time.Employees may park in these lots on a first come, first served basis.As a safety precaution, employees are advised to avoid parking near standing water which may remain in the lots.
This is the information we have to date.Changes are possible overnight and will be communicated as quickly as possible via email and/or media outlets.