The flooding in August 2021 was unlike what most people in Middle Tennessee had ever seen. In 12 hours on Aug. 21, between 10 and 15 inches of rain fell on four counties, as much as one-quarter of the total annual rainfall for the area.
Waverly and Humphreys County experienced the worst damage. Twenty lives lost, hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded, and schools and public facilities damaged.
One year after the Aug. 23, 2021, federal major disaster declaration, recovery is continuing, led by local communities, managed by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and supported with funding from FEMA and other federal agencies.
“We know the challenges and heartache these communities have felt following the devastating flooding of August 2021. In the past year, we have witnessed incredible resilience and progress towards recovery,” said Gov. Lee. “We continue to support Waverly and the flood impacted counties as they rebuild and heal from the disaster.”
FEMA has provided $8 million to 955 households in Dickson, Hickman, Houston and Humphreys counties for temporary lodging, basic home repairs, destroyed home replacements and other disaster-related expenses. FEMA and State of Tennessee provided 188 households with flood insurance policies for three years. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided more than $16.1 million in low-interest disaster loans to 158 homeowners and businesses. The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $15.9 million in claims.
“Partnerships between local, state, and federal agencies have been critical for providing support and resources to flood survivors and the jurisdictions,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said. “We thank FEMA for their help in providing financial relief and expertise to the impacted counties throughout the past year.”
By the end of 2022, with a grant from FEMA’s Public Assistance, approximately 1,000 students and faculty members who have been dispersed to different schools throughout the county, will attend classes in a renovated factory, once one of the town’s largest employers, the ACME Boot Company. Other public infrastructure projects are being processed for potential funding. To date, FEMA has obligated $27.7 million in PA funding.
Immediately after the flooding, FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams canvassed the four counties visiting more than 1,300 homes, businesses and other locations, providing information, referrals and application help to more than 1,100 individuals. More than 45 voluntary organizations, schools and houses of worship provided aid to fellow residents,
“Recovery in Tennessee involves so many partners,” said Gracia B. Szczech, FEMA Region 4 Administrator. “The governor, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, local jurisdictions, the faith community, voluntary organizations, the private sector, FEMA, other federal agencies, and of course all the individual Tennesseans who are making things happen. This is how disaster recovery works.”
The August 2021 flooding was one of five federally declared disasters in Tennessee between April 2021 and March 2022. TEMA and FEMA continue working on all five recovery efforts.
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