Gov. Haslam requests federal aid for Memorial Day weekend storms

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam asked President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster in Tennessee following severe weather over Memorial Day weekend.

Haslam's request asks for federal Public Assistance through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Shelby County is one of the 12 counties listed.

The request includes a specific request for individual assistance for Shelby County, which would give its residents direct assistance from the federal government.

Click here for more information about FEMA's Individual Assistance program.

FEMA's Public Assistance reimburses local and state governments, as well as private, nonprofit organizations, for work or repairs associated with debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and recreational facilities.

An estimated $15.9 million in damage was caused to utilities and $14.6 million in local government spending for emergency cleanup.

During the storm, more than 180,000 MLGW customers lost power, some of whom were left without power for a week or more.

"Community leaders, emergency managers, first responders, local officials and non-profits across Tennessee have worked tirelessly to help their neighbors recover from the impacts of the severe storms," Haslam said. "I believe we have demonstrated to federal officials the need for assistance exists and if granted will lessen some of the financial burden on local governments and utilities that have stretched their resources in storm response and recovery efforts."

Some of those storm victims hope to receive some help thanks to the governor's request.

"We've been without power since the storm," said Tamisha Joyner, who has been without power for more than three weeks.

Joyner, along with her six small kids and two dogs, are forced to use whatever means they can to stay cool.

"Ice, the night air, rain when it comes," she said.

She said the heavy winds damaged her electric meter and she's waiting for her property owner to repair it so MLGW can restore her power. She also hopes she can qualify for federal aid.

"Anything that can help my family," Joyner said.

She's not the only one hoping they can get some help. Virgil Hamilton's garage was destroyed by a large tree that fell during the storms.

"We really need help. If we can get that aid it's very important to me," Hamilton said. "I think it's something that needs to be done."

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