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Officials uncertain if road assistance will be available


Todd Jones of TEMA, left, Cocke County Mayor Vaughn Moore, center,
and Assistant Road Superintendent Lonnie Ottinger look over a list of
road damages in Cocke County on Wednesday afternoon.
Published: 11:15 AM, 07/25/2013 Last updated: 11:16 AM, 07/25/2013

Author: Rick Hooper
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT—Whether Cocke County will receive federal assistance to help in making road repairs as a result of last week’s storms remains uncertain, according to state and local officials.

Cocke County Mayor Vaughn Moore, Road Superintendent Kenneth Ford and Assistant Road Superintendent Lonnie Ottinger met with Todd Jones of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday to further assess the damage.

Jones said Wednesday afternoon that his preliminary assessment has damages in Cocke County at nearly a half-million dollars, up from the $250,000 initial estimate given by county officials just after the storm.

While the county’s damages more than meet one of the criteria for receiving federal assistance, the state’s criteria may fall short, meaning federal funds won’t be available.

“The county exceeds its requirement,” said Jones. “But, there has to be $8.7 million in damages statewide for there to be a federal declaration. We’re still evaluating damages in other parts of the state so, right now it’s “iffy.”

For more details, please see the Thursday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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