TEMA, FEMA assess storm damage in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Federal and state emergency management officials spent Saturday touring Shelby County and formally assessing the damage from last week's windstorm.

Roughly 13,000 people in Memphis still remain without power.

As Frayser resident Sam Jones cut some trees in North Memphis, teams with TEMA and FEMA took photos and documented the destruction.
"It's been rough," Jones said. "We've been without power since Saturday night, but it was back on Thursday."

Shelby County Office of Preparedness Director Dale Lane said they now estimate the storm will cost Shelby County at least $21 million. That estimate includes figures spent by the city of Memphis to clean up and MLGW to replace its torn up power infrastructure.
"This is the third largest power outage in our history," Lane said. "They've called in more crews this time than in any other."
The assessment teams in town Saturday are looking at the area's qualifications for public assistance. That is money from the federal government that would go back to local municipalities or even non-profits to cover their storm-related costs.
Crews stopped at multiple locations in Memphis from Chickasaw Gardens, to Midtown, to Frayser.
"It is definitely a tremendous storm," said Lane.

The county is still determining if the area would qualify for any assistance that may be available to individual homeowners. That work should be completed this weekend as well.
At least 100 uninsured homes must have significant damage for that federal help.

"Our main focus now is to make sure that we document the damage and then see if we meet those thresholds, so if we do that opens up the door to whatever assistance FEMA can provide," said Lane.
TEMA will provide numbers to Governor Bill Haslam's office, who will then determine if Tennessee officials will ask President Donald Trump to make a federal disaster declaration.

The storm damage in Shelby County is in addition to 19 other counties across the state.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.