Thursday, December 15, 2016

Obama declares Tennessee wildfire a major disaster

"Obama declares Tennessee wildfire a major disaster" (USA Today).  Obama signed the disaster declaration today (Thursday, Dec 15), which means that Federal funds can now be made available to victims.  Details for applying, are outlined in another USA Today article, "Obama orders federal funds to aid Sevier County fire victims."  Fires killed 14 people and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 structures in Gatlinburg and the surrounding communities in east Tennessee.  Officials have estimated the fires caused around $500 million in damages.  Here are two other useful links, 1) Timeline of Gatlinburg fires, and 2) Dolly Parton's star-studded "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" telethon, which raised nearly $9 million for the affected community.  Smoky indeed!  Dolly is from this area; her theme park, Dollywood, is in neighboring Pigeon Forge.

Gatlinburg TN area - destroyed buildings along U.S. 321
Destroyed homes above Gatlinburg
Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa above Gatlinburg the day after

No comments:

Post a Comment