Hagerty, Blackburn, TN Delegation Urge Swift Approval of Disaster Declaration Following Deadly Tornadoes

December 13, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), along with Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01), Tim Burchett (R-TN-02), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), Andy Ogles (R-TN-05), John Rose (R-TN-06), Mark Green (R-TN-07), David Kustoff (R-TN-08), and Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), today sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to swiftly approve Governor Bill Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration. The severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Middle Tennessee caused six fatalities and dozens of injuries, produced significant damage to nearly 1,900 homes, and completely destroyed over 500 homes.  

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear President Biden,

We write to urge swift approval of Governor Bill Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act due to severe weather occurring on December 9, 2023.

On December 9, 2023, tornadoes and severe storms ravaged Tennessee. The first tornado watch was issued on Saturday morning, and numerous tornadoes developed thereafter. As of December 11, 2023, the National Weather Service has confirmed six tornadoes that resulted in catastrophic damage. Devastatingly, the Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed six fatalities related to these events, along with numerous others who were injured. Initial reports indicate that nearly 1,900 homes across the state have been damaged, with over 500 homes being completely destroyed.

To respond to this disaster, Governor Lee is specifically requesting Individual Assistance and Public Assistance for Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery, and Sumner Counties, along with Hazard Mitigation statewide. Governor Lee’s request is attached. On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we urge you to approve this request as soon as possible.

Our offices can provide you with any additional information you need.