WASHINGTON – Members of the Tennessee U.S. congressional delegation announced today that they have sent a letter to President Barack Obama supporting Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s request for emergency funding to help state and local authorities in Dyer, Lake, Shelby and Stewart counties begin evacuation preparedness activities in advance of the flooding along the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. The full text of the letter, dated May 3, 2011, and signed by Senators Alexander and Corker and Representatives Roe, Duncan, Fleischmann, DesJarlais, Cooper, Black, Blackburn, Fincher and Cohen, follows.
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we urge you to approve Governor Bill Haslam’s request for emergency funding to help state and local authorities in Dyer, Lake, Shelby and Stewart counties to begin evacuation preparedness activities in advance of the flooding along the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers.
The flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries is historic. Heavy rainfall across the region has also caused major flooding along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. In Tiptonville, which has been under a voluntary evacuation order since last week, the Mississippi River is forecast to reach the highest flood stage ever recorded. In the City of Memphis, the forecasted crest has been increased to 48 feet, and residents are being told to prepare for the worst. Those living along the Cumberland River in Stewart County, many of whom are still recovering from last year’s floods, are also beginning to evacuate.
Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency are working in cooperation with local officials to meet the needs of our citizens, but they need federal help. The requested funds are critical to support our state’s evacuation efforts, which may be extensive, and we cannot afford to delay.
In light of the need to begin evacuations quickly, we urge you to consider our State’s request as soon as possible, and we will provide you with any additional information about our State’s needs should you have any questions.