Memphis agencies ready to help victims after catastrophic Tennessee floods

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As flood rescues continue in Middle Tennessee, some agencies in Memphis are geared up to help.

At least 16 people are confirmed dead in Saturday’s catastrophic flooding, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said. Gov. Bill Lee on Monday sent a request to FEMA for an Expedited Major Disaster Declaration for the four counties impacted: Dickson, Hickman, Houston, and Humphreys.

John Brown, executive director of the American Red Cross of the Mid-South, said his agency is mobilizing as fast as possible to help people who are hurting. Brown arrived in Dickson County on Monday.

“We will concentrate on feeding, disaster emergency supplies. As you know, people are stressed out already with the current COVID situation. We will have mental health. We will have spiritual care,” said Brown. 

The Red Cross will provide shelter and food but also coordinate donations coming in, including from the Mid-South. Partners include Dollar General and FedEx, Brown said.

Other agencies are waiting to see how they can help.

Charles Newell, Executive Administrator for the Shelby County EMA Office of Preparedness, said his agency has not been called yet but they are ready to take their brand new mobile command center if called upon.

“This could be used as communications and coordination between law enforcement and the rescue squads up there,” said Newell. 

They also have tents, generators and ATVs for transportation.

TEMA and FEMA are already on the ground helping.

“It is a terrible situation. We come to bring health and care to the folks here and we just want to do it the best we can,” said Brown. 


A Middle Tennessee Flood Recovery resource page is online at https://www.tn.gov/tema/getinvolved/middle-tennessee-flooding-recovery.html.
• A help line is available at 615-338-7404 for flood survivors to request volunteer cleanup assistance.

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