Gov. Haslam asks Trump for storm disaster assistance

Mitchell Avenue in Cookeville (Courtesy: Ben Garrett)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is asking President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster in the state following severe storms on Memorial Day weekend.

The governor’s request Wednesday seeks federal assistance for recovery efforts in 12 counties affected by strong winds, rain and hail.

The storms on May 27 and May 28 knocked out power to more than 180,000 customers in Memphis alone. Power lines were knocked down and fallen trees damaged homes and blocked roads. No deaths were reported.

Damage assessments to utilities totaled $15.9 million. Officials say an additional $14.6 million has been spent on emergency work, including debris cleanup.

Tennessee’s members of Congress are urging Trump to approve federal disaster assistance for Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Sevier, Shelby and Smith counties.