Clean-up continues as officials begin discussing long-term recovery
Nashville, TN – By Josh Kastrinsky
The waters of the Cumberland River continue to recede to at or below flood level Friday in Nashville, Tenn., but Middle Tennessee faces a long road to recovery as 27 counties have been named federal disaster areas.
Various local media report Gov. Phil Bredesen continues to seek the designation for 52 counties in the state, where 21 people are know to have died in connection with floods over the last week, 19 of whom reportedly drowned. About 13 inches of rain fell on Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, across Middle Tennesse, raising the Cumberland River over its banks in downtown Nashville and caused many smaller rivers and streams to flood neighboring communities.
As of Thursday, 8,500 people in the region have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster relief, with many more expected in the coming weeks. Officials estimate more than $1 billion in damage for the region.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). In general, FEMA reports people should begin receiving assistance 5-10 days after completing the application.
P!N ally Kenny Chesney, whose Nashville-area home was among those flooded this week, was among the musicians interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week, as Cooper has been reporting from the scene.
Figures for the number of families displaced by the flooding were difficult to gauge, but a Friday morning update from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) reported that 3,800 people in Nashville are still without power and close to 400 are still in 15 public shelters, some five days after the rains’ cessation.
As of Thursday, 12 area water systems were under boil water orders, and Davidson County (Nashville) residents were being urged to continue conserving water. A total of 167 truck loads of water are arriving from FEMA and two states, North Carolina and South Carolina. The water is being delivered to the following seven counties: Benton, Cheatham, Davidson, Gibson, Hickman, Perry and Stewart. Water deliveries are being made the morning of May 7 to Benton, Cheatham, Davidson and Hickman counties.
Click here for a Thursday White House briefing involving Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Tennessee Gov. Bredesen.
According to TEMA, a state of emergency declared May 1 will continue statewide for 60 days.