Cumberland and Van Buren Counties eligible for federal disaster assistance following August thunderstorms.
FEMA announced disaster assistance has been made available to supplement recovery efforts on a cost-share basis. FEMA said President Biden’s approval makes federal funding available to affected state and local governments for emergency work and repair. Cumberland Director of Emergency Management Travis Cole said FEMA will help with wind damage from the August 7 storm.
“It was very widespread, as large as Cumberland County is, we’re one of the largest in the state by way of land-mass, and it was literally from the north end of the county by way of the south end,” Cole said. “It tore up everything down 127 that runs right down through the middle of Cumberland County and through the heart of Crossville.”
Cole said that due to the time and day of the week the event took place, not much overtime for emergency crews was needed. Cole said Cumberland will be using much of the funding to compensate Volunteer Electric Cooperative for the utility damage they faced.
“They had several thousand dollars in damage and a lot of them worked around the clock for up to a week to get power restored,” Cole said. “After this event, it was a pretty big mess for them.”
Cole said that the cost-share help being made available will help get reimbursement that otherwise would not be available.
“It would just be an out-of-pocket expense for the utility so with it being a cost-share it’s not 100 percent of the money back but it’s better than nothing,” Cole said. “Or a lot better than nothing.”
Cole said 75 percent of the out-of-pocket expense will be reimbursed, with the original expense being around $400,000. Cole said he is grateful to all the local utility partners and emergency responders who worked to restore power after the storm. Other counties named eligible for the cost-share include Bledsoe, Coffee, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Meigs, Rhea, and Roane.