Governor Bill Lee’s office announced Friday that the Biden administration has qualified twelve counties to receive Major Disaster Declaration relief after a tornado-producing storm front tore through the state in early December.

“I appreciate the hard recovery work we’ve already accomplished with our local, state, and federal partners,” Governor Lee said. “We will continue working to make sure Tennesseans have every resource necessary for a full, swift recovery.”

The counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson are all named in the Major Disaster Declaration.

Across Tennessee, 79 casualties were confirmed, including 5 fatalities, 10 injured, and 64 that were considered “walking wounded.” According to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service, the storms crossed a total of 19 counties.

In all, the statement notes, the storms produced 24 tornadoes across west and middle Tennessee, and left more than 150,000 people without power at the severe weather’s peak.

According to the statement, residents of the counties can now apply for direct assistance through the FEMA program, and if eligible may receive help with rental assistance, the repair of homes and replacement of personal property, and other uninsured or under-insured losses from the disaster.

Individuals can apply online at, or by phone by calling 1-800-621-3362 from 6 AM to 10 PM central time.

More information on FEMA’s Individual Assistance program is at

As The Tennessee Star reported in the wake of the storms in December, Governor Lee, shortly after surveying the damage by air, said it was “a very heartbreaking and difficult day for the state of Tennessee.”

“We’re reminded that in just a moment,” Lee said at the time, “lives are lost, livelihoods are lost, and lives are changed forever. And we saw that across our state today. It was a very difficult day.”

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Morgan Nicole Veysey is a reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow her on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]