“If you look at the size of this flood disaster which struck during the first week of May,” said Macon County Emergency Management Director Keith Scruggs, “you’ll realize it’s enormous and that we certainly need FEMA in order for us to recover in an effective manner for the people of Macon County and the other numerous counties declared Federal Disaster areas in the state of Tennessee.”

"In the aftermath of the history making floods in our state, and the widespread damage, FEMA was certainly a welcomed sight, when officials arrived on Wednesday morning, May 19th, setting up a temporary site at the Lafayette Fire Department, located at 201 East Locust Street, inside the city limits, offering individual assistance.”

So far, almost 900 federal employees from across the country are now working to meet the needs of disaster survivors. Nearly $113 million in disaster grants and low-interest loans have been approved, enabling Tennesseans to repair and rebuild. FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The process began last week with a meeting at City Hall with area officials wanting to make sure that everybody gets the help they need, but until then, people need to go ahead and apply with FEMA by phone or on the internet, until they return again next week.

“The helps out there and we need to get the word out to those who need it the most,” Scruggs emphasized. “We need to utilize FEMA’s help, considering any personal property damage may be eligible including bridges to homes and other access to people’s property. And please let me stress that any flood damage that is uninsured, needs to be immediately registered and I will gladly offer my own personal assistance in order to help these victims get the process started. All those affected need to call the FEMA hotline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply or they can also visit the agency’s website at www.fema.gov for help.”

“There will be a regional meeting at the Smith County Agricultural Building, in Carthage, on Wednesday, May 26th, at 10:00 a.m., which is the beginning of the application process for public assistance, including roads, parks, city water and other related damages. The Macon County Highway Department will also present estimates and cost of damages, in anticipation of receiving a packet explaining what’s eligible and what procedure to follow while filling out paper work and general information.”

“Registering for assistance is key to the recovery process,” said Scruggs, “so don’t count yourself out. Register now if you haven’t already.”

FEMA officials say they have teams of people reaching out to register residents in rural areas and non-English speakers. Victims have until July 6th to register and the officials stress that there is no limit to the amount of aid available in Tennessee.