Dresden, Tennessee, Awaits Additional Federal Help As Tornado Cleanup Continues | december-2021-tornadoes
DRESDEN, TN – Time is running out and the people of Dresden, Tennessee are waiting. After two EF-4 tornadoes hit Local Area 6, Weakley County residents are hoping for more federal help.
Mayor Jeff Washburn said the extra help is vital for cleanup efforts, especially debris removal. Washburn said Dresden needed additional federal help.
This assistance would speed up the process of progress, for example by helping with the removal of debris and the repair of roads, bridges and public services.
The city of Dresden has its fair share of debris from the Dec. 10 tornado outbreak, and now the community needs help removing it.
“On Dec. 10, the tornado passed through around 11:30 p.m. that night, and almost immediately our emergency response began going door to door,” Washburn said.
After the tornado, nine counties in Tennessee received Category B approval for emergency protective measures.
This includes things like security, medical care, transportation, supplies, and commodities.
However, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is asking for more help. Assistance is needed to sustain cleanup efforts.
No lives were lost in Weakley County, but people here are still trying to pick up the pieces of the storm that destroyed parts of the city.
The mayor said people had made great progress in their cleanup efforts, but needed major disaster declaration approval.
“We’re at the point right now where we have to have our buildings demolished and here we have to clear a lot of debris,” Washburn said.
And while the federal government had different response times to send relief to Kentucky and Tennessee, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency says the state has applied and is now waiting.
“What I will say is that we have presented a great case to the federal government as to why these 20 counties need increased federal assistance,” said Dean Flener of TEMA.
TEMA also said federal aid would come to Tennessee later than to Kentucky because the circumstances are “very different.”
Tennessee has had a total of four deaths, while Kentucky has had more than 70 total deaths.
TEMA also told me that every disaster is different, and the state agency cannot speculate as to why the two states receive federal funding differently.
If the Major Disaster Declaration is approved for all 20 Tennessee counties, then 75% of the costs will be reimbursed by the federal government. The remaining 25% will be divided between the State and local authorities.