Monday was a bright, sunny, warm day that yielded perfect conditions for government officials to travel through Cumberland County and assess damages — far from the conditions of Friday night's horrific storms that plagued county residents and emergency crews.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) officials as well as a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a representative from the Small Business Administration were in Cumberland County Monday touring storm-damaged areas so a preliminary report could be compiled. The report will be submitted to the state and federal agencies. Ultimately the report will determine what type of assistance Cumberland County and its residents will be eligable.

"It's no doubt the county will be getting assistance, but at this point it's a little too soon to tell exactly what kind of assistance," said Bob Swabe, area coordinator of TEMA.

Swabe said it is probabale that the storm which struck Cumberland County will be included with the Middle Tennessee storms for federal disaster declaration consideration. As of Tuesday, Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency Director Keith Garrison said he had not received official notice if the county would be included.

According to Garrison, the preliminary report for Cumberland County shows six homes were considered destroyed, 12 homes, farms or businesses were labeled with major damage and 50 with moderate damage. In all, 181 homes suffered damages according to FEMA standards. Many more houses suffered damages to garages, out buildings and other structures, but those do not fall under FEMA standards. The damages must be suffered to living quarters of the home in order to meet FEMA regulations.

Mike Peele of the Small Business Administration said many residents will likely qualify to receive low-interest SBA loans for home repairs.

Tuesday, Garrison and County Mayor Brock Hill said they were unsure as to how soon the county would have answers regarding assistance. If a disaster declaration is approved for Cumberland County, then families will be give opportunities to apply for help. Instructions on how and where to apply will be published in a future edtion of the Crossville Chronicle.

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