Biden grants storm disaster declaration for Tennessee

March 12, 2022 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — President Joe Biden has granted a major disaster declaration for seven Tennessee counties as a result of a winter storm last month.

The declaration will give local jurisdictions and some private, nonprofit organizations access to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program.

The affected counties are Crockett, Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Shelby, Tipton and Weakley, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said.

Gov. Bill Lee requested the declaration, and the state’s two U.S. senators and nine U.S. House members asked Biden to approve it.

The ice storm brought freezing rain, sleet and snow to West and Middle Tennessee on Feb. 3 and 4.

On the storm’s first day, more than 140,000 homes and businesses lost power. Flooding also was reported. A Haywood County motorist died when he crashed his pickup truck into a tree that had fallen onto a highway.

In Shelby County, ice accumulated on city streets and trees, which sagged and dropped limbs on power lines and homes. The storm caused $12 million in damage to the county’s electric system, Lee said.