Federal emergency declared; help needed recovery


Dickson County emergency management officials continued to assess damage from the tornado and weekend storms on Monday.

Rob Fisher, director of the county’s emergency management agency, said crews were in White Bluff to examine damage to homes that was reported on Sunday evening. Assessments, which are submitted to state officials, determine whether the disaster meets the threshold to be declared a “disaster” and receive federal assistance.

“That’s why we try to get our damage assessments as soon as possible,” Fisher said.

Gov. Bill Lee asked for federal aid for nine counties, including Dickson County, Monday morning and President Joe Biden approved the declaration of emergency Monday night.

The declaration authorizes the release of federal aid and assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Dickson County and eight other counties.

Specifically, FEMA will identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, the equipment and resources necessary to mitigate the impacts of the emergency, according to a press release.

On Monday, Lee signed an executive order for severe weather relief for all counties affected by the weekend storms.

“Our emergency officials, first responders and law enforcement have brought hope where there was none in the aftermath of these storms,” ​​Lee said in the statement. “Our effort now will be to bring as much relief as possible to these devastated communities.”

Related:Victims of Tornado Dickson remember the destruction around them: “Please Lord, let us live”

Volunteers help

Several groups of volunteers are helping with the debris removal Monday, Fisher said, including the Tennessee Ranger Squad, a nonprofit group made up of people skilled in disaster relief. A Vanleer-based nonprofit and a Clarksville-based nonprofit, Fisher siad, are also helping with the cleanup.

He said those crews were clearing debris and cutting down trees from homes in the Murrell Road and East Piney Road area, where an EF2 tornado destroyed property.

Fisher said crews also assessed Burns, who was also affected by a tornado. Tornado EF-1, which was 175 meters wide, was on the ground for about 5 miles at Burns and reached up to 110 mph. Fisher said trees fell on the property and structures damaged, but “there was nothing major, nothing destroyed.”

As of Tuesday morning, about 200 customers of the Dickson electrical system in Dickson County were without power.

As a result of the storms, DES reported that nearly 20 utility poles had broken or failed around Murrell Road and around 20 poles failed in the county’s industrial park.

The Dickson County Family YMCA also helped relieve the tornadoes, acting as storm shelter and transporting tornado victims back and forth to their homes.

Murrell Road Resident Keith Kruse examines the damage caused by the nighttime storms that ravaged his community on Saturday, December 11, 2021 in Dickson Co., Tenn.

Dickson Co .. Help Center: How to Help

Dickson County Help Center officials are finalizing a Dickson County long-term recovery meeting regarding the tornadoes Thursday evening. The meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and will take place either at the YMCA or the Dickson County Government Building in Dickson. Renee Boehm, executive director of the Help Center, said the organization will post the location on Facebook once it is finalized. For more information or help, call 615-441-0076.

The purpose of the meeting, said Boehm, is to bring together the resources and skills available for the recovery of our community.

“If you’re ready to donate your services or volunteer, this meeting is for you,” said Boehm. “If you are part of an organization, church, or civic group that volunteers during disasters, please send a representative. ”

Another goal, she said, is to bring those affected by the storm together to see how the help center and volunteers can meet their needs.

“We are working to collect a list of names and addresses to ensure those who need help get it,” Boehm said.

How to help

Rescue in Tennessee, resource page launched

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has launched a website for people affected by storms across the state. Here are the resources available.

The website is located at tn.gov/tema/get-involved/december-severe-weather.

Volunteer

Volunteers can connect with Tennessee volunteer organizations active in disaster relief at tnvoad.org/donate.

To give

In times of disaster, financial donations are the best way to help those in need. Cash can be used immediately in response to a crisis and allows disaster relief organizations to buy exactly what they need, when they need it. The cash enables relief organizations to source supplies close to the affected area, reducing transport time and costs. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure businesses can operate when relief supplies dwindle.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross continues to serve those affected by recent inclement weather. Emergency assistance is available for people whose homes have been destroyed or badly damaged. For more information, please contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Crisis cleaning

A crisis cleaning service is in place for Tennessee residents who require assistance with debris removal and house cleaning following recent inclement weather. All the services are free, but the service is not guaranteed due to the huge expected need. Those in need of assistance should call the hotline at 800-451-1954.

Tennessee crisis hotline

Call 855-CRISIS-1 (855-274-7471) to speak with a caring and trained mental health professional 24/7 if you are experiencing a mental health emergency. You can also send a TN SMS to 741741.

Open Rx

Rx Open provides information on the functioning status of healthcare facilities in disaster-affected areas. Visit their website at rxopen.org.


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