Biden is asked for Tennessee storm disaster declaration

March 10, 2022 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators and nine members of the U.S. House have sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to approve Gov. Bill Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration for a February winter storm.

Lee requested federal public assistance for Crockett, Fayette, Haywood, Lauderdale, Shelby, Tipton, and Weakley counties following an ice storm that 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.

The public assistance program will reimburse jurisdictions and certain nonprofit organizations for their response to the storm, Lee said.